A Day in the Life of a...

Full Stack Developer at Cazana

Welcome to “A Day in the Life,” a series spotlighting Cazana employees across all departments and locations. In this blog series, we ask our employees to reflect on their career and experiences at Cazana.

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Paul Clark

I joined on the 25th February 2019. The Runway East days.

Before Cazana I worked as a manager in a short-term property letting start-up in Paris. I “fell into” the job after deciding not to use my law degree and apply for an officer role in the Royal Marines (passed the selection but didn’t make the cut for the yearly batch), while supporting myself financially by teaching English.

I played a big part in the company becoming the biggest of its kind in the city and in France in terms of revenue, but the job was too stressful and the work-life balance inexistent, which is why I decided to make a career change instead of continuing in property management when my partner and I moved to the UK.

I did a 3-month software-engineering bootcamp right next to Cazana’s previous office. The Tuesday after my graduation, Cazana employees, Ben and Ollie, were at the school’s career event looking for another developer to join the team, and here we are today.

Outside of work, I enjoy nature and the great outdoors - wild camping, hiking, spearfishing, snowboarding, plants and gardening. I’m an animal person; my partner and I have a cat called Chibi (roughly translated to “small and chubby” in Japanese). I also like learning languages (human and computer) - one of the reasons I decided to become a developer - French, JavaScript, Spanish, German, Python, Kotlin and more

Why did you decide to join Cazana and what is your current role?

Cazana was my first role as a developer. I had a really good feeling about working with Ben and Ollie after the interview, and the ambience of the wider team (about 20 people at the time?) felt relaxed, yet dynamic.

At the time, I wasn’t necessarily looking for a role in a start-up given my previous experience of working for one, but the opportunity to have a big impact as a junior developer and learn a new JavaScript framework was really attractive, and the team dynamic was so much more relaxed (albeit super hustle-y - and still hustling).

My current role is Full Stack engineer, which means helping build all of the SAAS products and external APIs.

Give us a brief overview of what a regular day as a Full Stack Engineer entails.

We currently work in two week “sprints”, so a normal day in one of these sprints would mean working on tickets for building or - hopefully less often - fixing things. Most of my days are spent coding and reviewing, with regular meetings to keep everybody in the loop about progress and upcoming tickets.

What is the engineering team like at Cazana?

Dynamic, hardworking, integrous, humble. Good eggs.

What is a current or future project that you are excited about?

We’re currently working on our external APIs; improving response times and making sure they’re able to scale for insurers. It may not sound like it, but it’s actually a really exciting project as it involves removing a dependency on an external data provider, an opportunity to play with serverless infrastructure, and to learn how load testing and smoke testing works.

What is your favourite thing about working with Cazana?

The trust and freedom afforded to do my job, and to get better at it.

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