Today, I reflect on my first year working at one the UK’s hottest companies, ASOS.
Last year, the London-based fashion powerhouse strategically setup a new office in Birmingham’s creative Custard Factory with the intent to tap into Midlands talent. CIO Pete Marsden was aware from previous experience there was a “melting pot” of technical experience in the region and was keen to expand the growing development teams beyond Camden.
As an early member of the Birmingham team, it’s been fantastic to witness how the office has established itself. From an empty shell, we now span 2 floors across 5 teams with 30 talented and enthusiastic people. We are massive Scrum advocates in Birmingham, creating ideal Agile environments for each team to create, collaborate and communicate.
The vibe is far from your typical office environment. London folk often praise us for creating a friendly, laid back and effective space for people to work in. I guess the pool table, dart board, XBOX and breakout areas help but it really comes down to the mix of people we work with.
When I applied for the position of UI engineer, I wasn’t quite aware of the scale of work ahead of us. The company is only 14 years old but, in that time, grown beyond expectation, consequently bootstrapping legacy systems to support the growing demands of the customers and business.
I was thrown in the deep-end and asked to assist the Daily Destination project – part of the strategy to establish ASOS as the “number 1 fashion destination for twenty somethings”. The Marketing teams were planning to rapidly produce relevant content for the target audience with a versatile template engine so we integrated Sitecore into our website, integrating our vast product database and huge social presence (our Facebook page has grown by nearly 1m since I started!)
Since then, I’ve worked with several different teams across the business on a range of different projects including the newly established Mobile team on a responsive prototype, streamlined header UI and refactoring the checkout process. Believe me – there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes and a lot more to come.
Along side this, I have also contributed to a number of side projects: establishing a UI Community between London and Birmingham, giving back to the community by teaching Prince’s Trust youngsters how to create a WordPress site, even creating an office league app for the “recreational sports” we play in Birmingham.
It seems my efforts were recognised too – in April, I was promoted to Senior UI Engineer – just 10 months into my post.
The first year has been quite a journey. I honestly look forward to what lies ahead.
(If anyone would like to join us, we are currently hiring a Solutions Architect and .NET Engineer in Birmingham. Let me know on the usual channels if you’re interested.)