It is with a fairly heavy heart I hang my Mango boots up and put my little toy cat (the company mascot) into a cupboard. This acts as a summary of my time at the Data Science consultancy, a place for me to remember what I learnt and the good times.
#October 3rd, 2018
Shuffling awkwardly round the room, I shook hands with people whose names I already couldn't remember. It was my first day, I was looking forward to getting started as it seemed like a perfect role for me, the freedom to experiment and incorporate my chosen technologies in a company that were looking to grow their bredth of products.
I remember eventually sitting down and getting thrown in straight away to working on a company website. Appreciative of being trusted enough early on to work on something and left to my own devices, I felt good.
I worked away on that website for a couple of days before being introduced to the first proper project I would be working on.
I remember clear as day plonking myself down in Scratchy (yes the meeting rooms are named after cats) and being demonstrated RCloud. A collaborative coding tool Data Scientists, it was an already fairly mature codebase that needed some help with the UI. The next few months were spent working through the GitHub issues that existed and implementing some small new features. It was a great project albeit a fairly steep learning curve for me, however I was constantly surrounded by great developers and I enjoyed it massively.
DSR had its challenges. When I first started working on the application it was a tool that Data Scientists could use to give them an accurate 'radar' graph displaying their skills. It was destined for conferences and professional social medias before being repositioned as a SaaS product.
My biggest lesson learnt was that when I received this new brief I should have potentially have started again. It has been a much harder process taking something that was already exisiting for one purpose and fine tuning it to another purpose. The team working on it have been fantastic and we have overcome many obstacles, and I am looking forward to seeing it continue to grow in the future under the capable hands of the development team.
#Managing a Team
This is where most of my lessons were learnt and is undeniably the most satisfying part of my job at Mango. I will be creating a more in-depth essay about the lessons learnt in leadership.
Early on in 2019 I was given the role of Development Team Lead, overseeing and looking after the team of engineers working on building Mangos products. Having been in a Project Management role previously the idea of managing people wasn't entirely new to me, however working on a codebase at the same time was definitely new.
Tackling being part of a delivery team as well as managing the individuals within that team was incredibly hard and off the back of this I have decided that I would not want to blur the lines again in future. I would either be committed to being a manager or a individual contributor because striking the right balance between the both meant I was unable to give either role the full capacity I could have given it. I am regretful of that fact, but I am glad
Working at Mango was something I will always remember. It had its ups as well as it's downs, however I feel that I am an all round stronger individual for it and I wouldn't change the experience for anything. It was a really great opportunity for me to work with some of the smartest people I have ever met, and I am very grateful.
Thanks Mango 👋🏼