In the first part of our series looking at How We Work in GoustoTech we focused on the overall team structure. This post digs into more detail about how an individual squad works, the methodology they follow and what the day-to-day role of an Engineer or Product Manager is within a squad.

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Structure

Each squad in GoustoTech consists of five Engineers and one Product Manager. As we grow our team there may be fewer Engineers, but the overall goal is to be a six-person team. The aim is to make each squad a small, self-contained, independent unit that works towards achieving a mission. Squads use metrics that they own to understand their progress towards achieving this mission e.g. Improving our CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) score. Ownership of features also means that each squad owns a number of the technical components of our architecture. …


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We recently spent nine nights in September 2018 staying at The Nutshell in Pluckley, near Ashford in Kent. We came across the cottage through the Kent and Sussex Cottages website. We’ve never booked through this site before but it seemed to rank well for cottages in Kent which was the area we were after. We originally booked the cottage as we loved the look of the decor, especially the large copper bath!

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Location

The cottage is located around 7 miles West of Ashford in Kent and a couple of miles North of the High Weald AONB giving us plenty of places to visit. …


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The last six months has been a whirlwind as you can probably tell with the lack of posts on my blog. To recover, we booked a nine night stay in a cottage in Kent that coincided with our wedding anniversary. We decided to treat ourselves to lunch at The Compasses Inn, near Canterbury to celebrate.

I’d become aware of The Compasses Inn as an avid follower of The Top 50 Gastropubs, as this always provides me with ideas of great places to eat when on holiday. Coming in at Number 44 in the 2018 list, The Compasses Inn was somewhere that had been on my radar for a while. …


Deciding your next step on the career ladder is never a simple task. Not only do you have to choose what you want to be, but you have to think about where you want to be. These choices aren’t made any easier by most of us having preconceptions about different companies and the challenges they face.

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Before joining Gousto in September 2017 as Head of Engineering, I had my own ideas of a technology-driven, recipe box company. Gousto had only been around for five years, the meal-kit sector was young and the wider UK grocery market wasn’t associated with being at the forefront of innovation.

A year later, I’m pleasantly surprised. So, what are some of the interesting challenges we have ahead of us at Gousto and why are we excited by them?

1. A Perishable Physical Product

One reason I joined Gousto was to experience working with a physical product. After years spent operating purely digital systems, where I’d resolve problems with a quick data-fix, I’d become accustomed to small implications for errors in the system. When you ship out a physical product this all changes. …


A couple of weeks ago my wife and I paid a visit to Lima Fitzrovia in London. Last year I spotted that Lima advertised on Travelzoo (join using that link and we both get £10 to spend) during their quiet periods (normally Jan-March and over the summer). Unlike many other offers that restaurants make, this voucher was for two-courses from the a-la-carte menu (rather than a separate set-menu), meaning you could sample whichever dishes you wish. A couple of the more expensive dishes do have small surcharges, but for £49 for 2-courses and champagne for two people, this really makes a good value evening out.

Lima, which currently holds 1 Michelin Star is located in Fitzrovia, a 5-minute walk north from the hustle and bustle of Tottenham Court Road Underground Station and Oxford Street. For anyone on a shopping trip, or even before an evening out at the theatre, Lima is a great option.

Lima’s head chef, Robert Ortiz, is not a household name for most. He is Peruvian though, hence the theme of the food at Lima. Lima also has an executive chef by the name of Virgilio Martinez who owns the ‘5th best restaurant in the world’, 1 Michelin Star Central, which is located in Lima (the city) in Peru. …


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For anyone who’d like to see more about my day-job as Head of Engineering at Gousto I’ve started a series of blog posts on Gousto’s Engineering Blog, TechBrunch. The first post in the series look at how we structure the team. I’ve tried to cover not only the ‘how’ but also ‘why we made the decisions. We refer to ourselves internally as GoustoTech (hence the title!).

If you enjoyed the post or had any questions, please drop me a comment below. …


Last week, on Friday 26th January, I was lucky enough to be invited to a breakfast book launch of Daniel Pink’s newest book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. The event was arranged by Harrington Starr, a recruiter I’ve worked with over a number of years. Harrington Starr have always organised great events with top-quality speakers and this was no exception. Hosted at The Vintner’s Company in the City of London, a grand place to start your day.

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For those of you who haven’t yet come across Daniel Pink, he’s an author of many other books, but is probably most famous for Drive. Dan is also famous for his 2009 TED talk, The Puzzle of Motivation, which has nearly 20m views on the TED website.

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Thinking

In his latest book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Dan looks at how we can use the timing of events to get the best outcomes. All his advice is backed up by scientific proof, showing exactly why there is a perfect time for everything. …


After joining Gousto as Head of Engineering in September 2017 I’ve spent a lot of time interviewing candidates as we look to scale out our engineering team. One of the most common questions I’m asked is how we structure the team here at Gousto. This is the first in a series of posts looking at ‘how’ (and most importantly ‘why’) we structure our engineering team this way.

At Gousto we actually split our Data Science team from our Software Engineering team, but work amazing closely. I’ve included both in this article so you can see how they fit together. At the current time our combined team is around 30 people but this is likely to grow up to around 50 by the end of 2018. …


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My wife celebrates her birthday in early January and every year I search for restaurants not taking a well earned break after the December peak. This year we were looking for a homely, country pub where we could relax with good honest home traditional food and that’s where I came across The Fox and Hounds in Hunsdon, Hertfordshire.

The Fox and Hounds is owned by it’s Head Chef, James Rix. According to his biography he spent much of his early years learning from some of the greats, with time at Waterside Inn and La Tante Claire. …


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During a short break to Kent in November 2017 (where we stayed in The Granary) we were looking for a restaurant to enjoy a relaxing lunch. This area of the country doesn’t have a massive amount of Michelin starred establishments but we did come across Gravetye Manor in West Hoathly, Sussex. The restaurant is attached to a larger hotel, part of the upmarket Relais and Chateaux group. Located around 10–15 mins from the M23 and about 20–25 minutes from Gatwick Airport.

Gravetye Manor has held one Michelin Star since 2008 and prides itself in the locality of its produce. Its own kitchen garden is responsible for much of its fresh produce and we ate venison from the estate as part of the tasting menu as well. …

About

Ben Brown

London based Engineering Leader, Technologist and Foodie. Loves travelling and eating and blogging about it afterwards!

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