A developer's tale...
There's always lots going on in our digital services teams. But what's it really like working here at NICE? We talk to a member of the team to find out.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, my name’s Warren Keith and I’m a senior user interface developer here at NICE. I’ve been doing this type of work for about 12/13 years now. I used to live in Liverpool. But I’m now living in Manchester with my wife, young baby and big fluffy grey cat, Morris!
When did you join NICE?
I’ve actually only been here for 9 months!
What was it that made you want to work with us?
I think I was first attracted to the role because I had previous healthcare experience. Not that you really need it for this role at all. But I’d worked in pharmaceutical marketing and when I saw an opportunity to experience the public sector side of the healthcare industry, I jumped at it. I was also interested because I’d never worked in a traditional software development team before. I’d always done a lot of agency work with high turnover and short commercial time constraints. So to work in a formally agile process, with delivery managers and testers, was really attractive for me.
Describe your career journey so far.
I’m a self-taught developer. I did a music degree and got interested in web development back in 2004. I just started playing with a copy of Dreamweaver (back in the day!). Then I got a Jobcentre New Deal job as a trainee web designer for a tiny company in Liverpool – there was just me and 2 directors! From there, I moved through larger and larger organisations in Liverpool, and then in Manchester.
How has NICE supported you in achieving your goals?
I was really welcomed into the team, despite having had no experience of working in this way before. I’d only really worked in small teams where everything was a rush. I was quite nervous about coming into an organisation where there are formal things like code reviews. My work had never been scrutinised to that degree before. The software development process seemed quite intimidating to me, despite having done this kind of work for quite a long time. But the team has been really kind and supportive about welcoming me into that process. So now, only 9 months after starting, I’m confident in it. I’m not intimidated by a code review anymore, which is exactly where I was hoping to be.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I really enjoy the multidisciplinary approach to the work we do here at NICE. It’s not just a room full of developers with their headphones on, each working on their own tickets. We frequently meet up to approach solutions to problems as a group. To work alongside delivery managers and user experience experts and testers is a really satisfying way to do things. You’re also given the amount of time you need to do something properly. We’re making small components of very large, complex products in some situations. They have to work and they have to work well. That would be stressful if you didn’t have the amount of time you needed to get it right. But that’s exactly what you get here – the time you need to get it right. So the work you’re doing is really important, but the delivery of it isn’t stressful.
Describe the culture of NICE in three words.
It’s definitely studious. And it’s a relatively quiet office, for an open plan. Not that people don’t talk or laugh, it’s just that it’s a large organisation with important work to do. And although it’s studious it’s quite a relaxed environment. It's rare to see people who are visibly under lots of pressure. But most importantly, it’s a very supportive place to be, both personally, and professionally. I’ve worked in lots of places where you have developers with really big egos. They were unapproachable, and you felt quite isolated despite being part of their team. But there’s no one here I’d have any qualms about walking up to and asking for help, regardless of discipline. So those are my three: studious, relaxed and supportive.
What do you think is the biggest perk in working for NICE?
It’s got to be the work life balance. I’ve experienced a busy agency life, where you work hard and play hard. And it’s great to have had those experiences. But a good work life balance is really hard to maintain in that environment. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become a father. My responsibilities have increased, and you need flexibility to maintain that balance. Here, if something happens with the baby, I can take a carer’s day to deal with it. It’s invaluable. And it’s genuinely part of the culture here, it’s not something that’s just paid lip service to. If I needed to leave right now to take care of my child, I know there wouldn't be a massive pile of work waiting for me when I got back. Any organisation can offer flexibility but the proof is in how it's handled and how everyone copes when you actually need it. NICE is an organisation that really understands that you have priorities in your life that aren’t to do with work.