Moving Teams after Three Years
After 3 years of being in the same team at Capital One, I've moved teams. Although as of writing I'm working on Consumer Identity, as of Wednesday I'll be working in the Third Party API engineering team.
When I joined Capital One in 2016 on the graduate scheme, I was hired into UK Services 1, "Magic 8 Ball". At the time, being hired into the graduate scheme meant that for me, I was not on rotation, but was in fact hired into the team itself, with an unofficial agreement that I could rotate if I wanted.
Since working on the team, I've been building up the Identity and Access Management service on top of a commercial off-the-shelf product, where we've added a lot of specific functionality on top of the core product. This has underpin the customer interactions for Capital One's Web Servicing web application, and has had a lot of work around securely authorizing third parties to customer data, under PSD2/Open Banking.
I've championed Chef usage, building more of a community around configuration management internally, as well as proving out a lot of the design patterns for use.
Most importantly I've learned how to write software and tools in a Test Driven Development fashion, something that makes it very difficult to work without the safety of a test suite behind you.
I've helped tackle (and accrue) tech debt, and learnt what it means to be on-call for a production service.
Although I've been in the same team, I haven't always been in the same team. We've had a few folks leave us, or move internally, and that one time we had a couple of folks on secondment. This has meant that I've experimented over time how best to share knowledge and get others up to speed, as well as looking at new approaches to our challenges.
18 months in, I was given the opportunity to move from Software Development Engineering to Quality Engineering. Our team has always been super cross-functional, and developers would pick up testing work, and testers would pick up development work. It's a really nice way to do it, and made the transition much easier as I was already quite familiar with it.
In this role I've worked on a tonne of PSD2 platform work, both in my own team on the Identity Service but also in terms of building confidence in the platform and its conformance with the full Open Banking specifications.
I've helped build out some more on code quality in quality engineering and built a shared library to cut down on some of the repeated code we have across our functional acceptance tests, rather than needing to re-implement different variations on all the ways to verify that an HTTP status code is a 200.
I'm sad to be leaving my friends, I've had some great times working with them, but I know I'll still be seeing them a lot as we're all still working on PSD2 (for now at least) and I'll literally be two desks away! Not exactly the biggest move.
It's also going to be a bit scary to move away from a project that I know very well, that I've helped build over 3 years and that I'm very emotionally invested in, and to move to pastures new and have to let it go.
I'll also be flip-flopping back to being a Software Development Engineer, as I want to get a bit more development under my belt before saying whether I want to stay in Software Development or Software Quality, but either way, I know I've got a tonne of learnings and practices I'll be taking with me. I'm looking forward to writing a bit more Java and to be filling this blog with posts about the interesting stuff I've discovered.
I've been working with the folks in the Third Party API engineering team ("Asgard") a fair bit over the last year, but especially so over the last couple of months, and get on with the team quite well. I've got a lot of people I want to learn a lot of things from, and hope to be able to share some of my own skills with them!
My colleagues have joked that I've been telling them for over a year that "I'll be moving out of the team soon", so I think they were all a little shocked when I told them today that it was happening. It was a surprise for me on Friday to hear that I was moving in a few days, because we'd had January prepped for when I was going to move, but as my senior engineering manager said, it was better to "rip off the bandaid" and get me moved rather than a slow transition period.
I'm very much looking forward to my move into a different team, and to be trying something different, although I will say it's a bit of step away from what I know!