My journey from Intuit INDIA to Intuit UK
I am Akshatha Udupa, a Software Engineer at Intuit UK. Before moving to the UK, I worked at Intuit India for nearly 5 years on different projects like QuickBooks (QBO) Desktop, Payments and Central Services team. Around a year ago, I had to move to the UK due to personal circumstances. At the same time a new development team was being set up in London. The UK and the SBG management teams were very supportive and gave me an opportunity to work with the new team.
Life in London
London is the most multicultural, cosmopolitan city I have ever been to. I was really amazed to see large swathes of greenery within the city. London has some of the world’s best sights, attractions, museums and I feel it’s enough to keep one entertained for a lifetime. London also has a diverse food culture. I was a bit surprised to see at least a few vegan and vegetarian options in most restaurants. Since I am a vegetarian this is very important to me. London is definitely for all tastes and budgets to eat out.
London’s lifeblood is its public transportation. When I was trying to familiarize myself with the route to the office from home, I was mesmerized by the efficiency of the public transportation, especially the underground tubes. The Intuit UK office is located in the heart of the tourist area at London Victoria. There have been times when I have visited Big Ben, Westminster Parliament and St. James Park during lunch breaks.
The team’s most discussed leisurely topic is the weather. Having experienced all four seasons in a day explained why most people carry an umbrella with them all the time. It took me a while to get used to the cold weather and the shorter days during winter. Overall, the transition of moving to a new country and working on a new product has been challenging, yet smooth because of the manager’s and the team’s constant support.
Transition from Intuit India to Intuit UK
QuickBooks being a huge codebase, was a bit of a learning curve to understand the accounting basics and also the various back-end and the front-end components involved in building it. The collective experience and the knowledge of the team helped me come up to speed.
During my initial stint, I worked on QBO France understanding the French accounting domain and helping the team in delivering features like soft closing of the accounting books and generation of the audit file containing data of all accounting transactions for a given fiscal year and many more. As a team we did our best in developing these features, although it was not an easy task because of not having the PM, architect and the XD together with us in the same office.
After a couple of months of working on QBO France, I transitioned to work on QBO UK. Our main goal for the UK is releasing withholding taxes for Construction Industry scheme (CIS) in QBO. CIS is a unique type of tax applicable for users dealing in construction space in the UK. These taxes need to be accounted for while creating transactions, which then needs to be reported to the UK tax authority.
Since the PM, XD, Architect and the Dev team for UK project are all co-located, it makes it easier for the day to day knowledge sharing and interaction. The instant feedback on the designs and features developed have proven very good so far in releasing a better product. We have the privilege of having direct access to the care team which gives us better insights into the way the customers are using our features in the market.
Working with a global team and cutting-edge technology
Working on CIS in the UK has given me a chance to expand my knowledge and expertise in some of the modern cutting-edge front-end technologies like React, Relay, Graphql. The flexibility in the team and the work environment allows me to work remotely when required. As a team, we try and make Quality as our first class citizen, focusing and prioritizing on good automation coverage.
Global First is the mindset which the team held a firm stand on and started working with the product managers from other regions like Canada, India and Australia to gather the various requirements in regional taxes of all nature. The understanding and designing of global tax filing system has been a good learning experience for me.
Intuit’s mission starts with customer obsessions. Having this deep customer empathy helps us to understand what their pain points are, why and how they are currently doing something, it gives us that inspiration to innovate for them and come up with solutions. The team is always keen to interact with our customers to validate our idea. So we conduct regular inteviews with the customer to draw insights and to build better products.
As much as we take our work seriously, we take our fun seriously, too!
We have regular team outings, pub quizzes, Wimbledon social, Football social, week of service — hosting charitable events and so on. Plus, you never know when there will a ice-cream treat on a hot afternoon, fund raising Friday, Christmas jumper day and other light-hearted activities.
Overall, it has been a wonderful move and I truly enjoy being part of this fun and caring team. I am really looking forward to contribute my best in the coming days. Also, on a personal front, I am planning to do some travel around Europe and feed the travel bug in me :)