This week, I spend some time with Ed Heaver, who is now a Junior Backend Engineer after starting his career at JustPark in Customer Support. He shares his experience of switching his career
Tell us how you came to join JustPark?
Wow, that feels like a long time ago! I left my job in recruitment, it wasn’t for me even though I was doing well and ready for a promotion it felt like it was the right time for a change. My manager asked me “do you want to do recruitment as a long term career” and it made me think. So I decided to look for a new job, I found JustPark in January - I did an interview process which took about two weeks, I interviewed to be in Customer Support as an associate, but decided to put me forward for the team lead position instead. So I did another interview and then hurray I got the job - started with JustPark on 3rd February 2020.
What did you enjoy about working in Customer Support?
I loved the pace in Customer Support, I have always enjoyed working quickly, but it was how JustPark as a business approached Customer Support that I really liked. It really is different, most companies think of it as cost management but JustPark genuinely wants a good outcome for every customer. It makes people really happy with the service they get, which is not the same as other places.
When you joined JustPark did you think you would move into the Engineering team?
Good question - well I was doing a software engineering bootcamp in my own time and I have always been interested in the tech side of the business but no I guess I didn’t think I would move internally. However, when I joined Customer Support it gave me a new opportunity to work on something I enjoyed while still having time for personal development. I honestly fell in love with the company and the way it works.
Tell us about your exciting move into Engineering?
I was in Customer Support for about a year and a half, while doing that I networked alongside and found an internship working part-time at a cyber security company. Both JustPark and the internship were really understanding about me doing both roles and supporting my development as long as I did the job, time management on my side was key. My manager at JustPark allowed me to start a couple of hours later and my internship said I could work when I wanted, I found a really good balance between the two. The 4-month internship was extended and I got to work on the product launch - which was a really exciting time!
Then to transition into tech, I spoke to people internally about what I wanted to do which was well received and well supported. They were changing to a new organisational structure at the time for engineers and the person who was going to do the role I am in was leaving - meaning a junior opportunity came up. I had an honest conversation to say I would love to do it. Everyone was really open and amicable to try new things - I had an interview and we all said let's give it a go!
Along with your internship, how else did you gain experience for your new role?
In JustPark I have always applied my engineering interests to my work. I worked on the help centre and built components on the customer-facing pages and was able to fix problems when they arose. I got involved with Redash and Looker to get data for the team. Again, JustPark’s culture allowed me to bring ideas to the table and let me take risks. I've never had anyone say no if there was a good reason to do it. My feedback has always been taken really well and I love the open culture, it’s a great feeling to know your ideas are heard and wanted.
How do you feel JustPark has supported you in your career?
JustPark has really given me my start in Engineering which I am thankful for. Not only that, I have had a lot of training during my time here so far, there are loads of opportunities to upskill. I've gained so much more here than anywhere I’ve ever worked. Development opportunities at JustPark are huge!
How is your new role in engineering?
Awesome - I've shipped 40 things already and it’s so very varied. I am learning so much and the team is great! Everyone is so experienced and they are really supportive, people always help if you have a problem and we learn organically from each other as a team. It is going really well!
What learnings have you taken from this career move?
I didn’t wait for it to happen, you have to be hungry - I went out and found what I wanted to do. I worked in my own time and volunteered to get the experience I needed and it’s paid off. So, I learnt you have to be hungry and go out and get the skills you need.
What are the new steps for you in your development?
Great question - I am now mentoring junior developers in other companies! A company reached out to me to improve diversity in leadership in tech, they hire juniors and develop them into senior engineers. I work with them in their mentorship accelerator programme. Improving my leadership skills in tech and technical skills are my two key focus areas along with building projects and working with new technologies! I wish I had something finished to share, but maybe the next blog post? My mission is to build something of my own soon so I will keep you posted!
JustPark is all about it people, and their development is important to us. We are lucky to have a team of fantastic individuals who are driven just like Ed in delivering the mission we are on. I look forward to writing up our next success story at JustPark as we have lots more to share!