Petrina Leslie, payments development manager at eShopWorld.
Petrina Leslie, payments development manager at eShopWorld. Image: Connor McKenna

At eShopWorld, there’s a great atmosphere of collaboration

2 Oct 2017

Want to know what it’s like working at eShopWorld?

There’s a whole world of tech jobs out there for anyone who is interested, from tech consultancy to data science. Many jobs that didn’t exist a few years ago are fast becoming some of the hottest industries to work in.

A perfect example of this is e-commerce. In recent years, e-commerce has exploded, bringing a whole new industry of tech jobs to the forefront.

But what’s it actually like working in an e-commerce company? We spoke to Petrina Leslie, the payments development manager at eShopWorld, about what her job is like.

What is your role within eShopWorld?

Payments development manager at eShopWorld. I manage the team that develops our payment infrastructure.

If there is such a thing, can you describe a typical day in the job?

A normal day for me starts with emails, checking logs and dashboards to see if there is anything in need of urgent attention. My first meeting of the day is a stand-up with the scrum team, where we plan for the day ahead.

Following this, a typical day might involve working with the product owner and business teams on upcoming priorities, one-to-one meetings with the team, code reviews or architecture workshops.

What types of project do you work on?

The payments team is responsible for managing the technical pieces that enable retailers to offer localised payments to shoppers in global markets, such as Alipay in China or Klarna in Norway.

Currently, we are working on incorporating machine learning tools so that we can more accurately detect and block fraudulent transactions, and automate how we respond to potential fraud.

We are also doing re-architecture work on our payments platform to support the high-scaling requirements of our business.

What skills do you use on a daily basis?

Problem solving, solution design and evaluating technical performance are all part of the job. Therefore, having strong technical skills and keeping these up to date is important.

Whilst strictly no longer part of my role, I think keeping up to date with development is beneficial, so I’ll regularly pair program with the team or do code reviews.

Effective communication is crucial for developing a high-performing team. Having shared goals and a shared understanding of each other’s skills and open feedback improves how we work together.

What is the hardest part of your working day?

The fast pace of growth means that you are constantly having to adapt to change. But this is what is also so rewarding about the role. It means there are lots of opportunities to learn and develop new cutting-edge skills.

Do you have any productivity tips that help you through the working day?

Overcommunicate. It’s hard to predict what information is most important for team members to be able to do their job effectively and stay aligned, so I tend to err on the side of too much rather than too little.

We use Microsoft Teams for collaboration. It allows everyone to see what everyone is working on. I have found that help and feedback can come from unexpected places, so transparency definitely has benefits.

When you first started this job, what were you most surprised to learn was important in the role?

I don’t know if it was a surprise, but I think a knowledge or understanding of online shopping is more important than you realise.

Thankfully, I’ve been lucky to have worked in financial tech and payments for most of my career, and I was an early adopter of online commerce.

How has this role changed as this sector has grown and evolved?

When I first left college, Waterfall was the main model for software development. There were long requirements, design, development and testing phases. Even the releases were cumbersome.

In my first company, we shipped updates to our clients once a quarter. There was a lot of stress around release time and if things went wrong, they tended to go badly wrong.

Now, we are releasing into production at frequent intervals as features are developed, and we have an automated build pipeline that means code is tested as it is checked in.

We also work in cross-functional scrum teams, where product, development, QA and operations collaborate closely together to deliver on shared goals. We are continuously refining the process but our aim is to get to a place where all teams can release to production multiple times per day.

Continuous deployment means that we can react rapidly to what is happening in production. Monitoring the health of our services and how our customers are experiencing our services means that we detect issues very early.

I read the other day that when you have mastered the DevOps process, there is no need any more for a bug log because bugs are fixed as soon as they are detected and released to production the same day. I can’t say we are quite there yet but it’s my new goal!

What do you enjoy most about the job?

The great atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork. The culture is one of friendly competition – we want to know how we can be better, together.

There’s a sense that we’re part of a big team all working towards a common goal. We also like to have fun, too, and my team has regular nights out, as well as the company social activities.

If you want to work with cool technology, in a collaborative environment with people who know what they’re doing, eShopWorld offers that.

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