In the dynamic world of JustPark, where innovation meets everyday convenience, we often find extraordinary stories behind the scenes. Today, we bring you a sneak peek into the life and experiences of Ben Colegate, a Lead Backend Engineer at JustPark. Beyond the lines of code and architectural prowess, Ben reveals his journey from a humble start in Homebase to navigating the intricacies of software engineering.
Join us for a rapid-fire Q&A session with Ben as he shares insights into his love for mentorship, his visions for revolutionising the parking industry, and his dream of sipping lattes amidst the bustling streets of Tokyo.
What was your first job?
My first “non-professional” job was a role in Homebase as a shop floor worker, where I actually met my wife (although we didn’t speak to each other much while I worked there!). My first software engineering job was at a company called Max Web Solutions in the Wirral, where I built and maintained an accounting system for a nationwide company dealing with temporary staff. In all honesty, this role pretty much set up my career — trial by fire and all that jazz!
Summarise your role in two sentences.
I help lead our projects from a technical point of view and architect the solutions. I also mentor others, which is probably my favourite part of the role.
How would your colleagues describe you?
I hope they’d describe me as friendly and helpful! Someone would probably mention I’m Welsh and an avid Tom Jones fan too…
What’s your favourite thing about JustPark?
Quite simply, how challenging building solutions for parking can be!
I thrive off of solving problems and this is without a doubt my favourite part of the role. Also, everyone I work with is just flat-out amazing, that’s something special.
What are two personal goals you aimed to achieve in 2023?
I wanted to pour some absolute top tier latte art — it’s much harder than I thought it would be! I also want to walk up Snowdon, which I’ve never done. Considering it’s on my doorstep, that’s pretty shameful.
As Lead Backend Engineer, what are your hopes for JustPark over the next 12 months?
It may sound cliche, I want us to keep delivering features to drivers and space owners to help with their day-to-day lives.
Whether it’s generating more revenue for someone renting out their driveway through innovative pricing features, or helping someone find somewhere to park in a speedy manner by making improvements to our search, I love getting to contribute to building a better experience from end-to-end.
What motivates you to work hard?
My competitive nature keeps me learning and striving to improve to be at my best. Ultimately, I absolutely love software engineering. I’m a nerd at heart, really!
What is one prediction you have for the future of the parking industry?
I think we can improve the visibility of parking within your area, especially now more and more cars have smart capabilities. Instead of driving around aimlessly, finding a car park and realising its full, we can recommend spaces near you which are available instead! Reserving spaces on the fly will become much easier too.
What’s your dream holiday destination?
Tokyo! There’s about a million things I want to do there, visit the mega gaming arcades, eat all of the food, go on the bullet train, sleep in an absolutely tiny room and watch Wrestle Kingdom!
Interested in joining the JustPark team? Explore open roles and learn more about our company culture on our Careers page.