How would you describe your job?
I lead a team of developers at the Financial Times. The team’s remit is to “reduce [developer] time spent repeating work” and “unify design across FT products”. Though I’m a software developer, I report in to the head of design. The FT has the newspaper, but it has a lot of other businesses too. We own more than 10 other finance-focused publications, like The Investors Chronicle, FT Adviser, and The Banker. We also have two events companies, The 125 and FT Live. Then there are the business-to-business services, which all have websites, and that’s where my team comes in.
My team builds and runs services such as the Responsive Image Service, which will convert and compress an image of any size, ready to be used online. We also build and maintain a library of reusable components, like buttons, ads, forms and headers.
What does a typical working day look like?
I cycle to work with my husband. It’s about 10km from our house to my office and it’s a good bit of time to get some headspace. My working hours are about 9.30am to 5.30pm but my start time is pretty flexible. Right now it’s hiring a new team member, but more typically I might be looking at how we can improve one of our components, coding some bug fixes, planning how we can roll out a design change to a component across all of our sites, that kind of thing.
Because I lead the team, all managerial responsibility falls to me as well as communicating our progress to the rest of the business. I probably spend about 50% of my time working on products and 50% of my time doing things that keep the rest of the team running.