A day in the life of… Lisa W (Engineering Manager)

AsosTechBlog
Mar 11 · 4 min read

This ‘day in the life of’ series gives you an insight into what a typical day looks like for our women in Tech at ASOS (hint: there isn’t one) and how they started their careers. Hopefully, you take something inspirational away from it.

This one’s about Lisa who’s an Engineering Manager in Data Services.

My alarm clock goes off…

At 8am in our lockdown world. The best part of lockdown is the zero commute!

I’m responsible for…

I‘m an Engineering Manager across ASOS’s Advanced Analytics, Enterprise Reporting, Data Lake and External Marketing Feeds teams. I manage 18 Software Engineers, Business Intelligence Analysts, Business Intelligence Engineers, Data Engineers and QAs. It’s my job to ensure we have the right skills in the team to deliver the tech roadmap and ensure high quality coding and engineering practices are maintained. I work with the other Engineering Managers and tech leads in ASOS to drive initiatives which help engineers be the best they can be.

I got the job…

I come from a Business Analyst background and I started as a contractor Business Analyst at ASOS. A couple of great managers saw I was good with people and delivery-focused, so they gave me a chance to try the Agile Delivery Manager role. I started with one team, then acquired another and loved it so much at ASOS that I signed up to be a permanent member of staff. I became an Engineering Manager last September (2020) and have enjoyed shaping the new role with my fellow EMs.

My typical day looks like…

Lots of 1–2–1s, especially in lockdown as it’s important to check people are coping OK with the isolation of working from home. I work closely with the Lead Software Engineers and Platform Leads to support the teams day to day, looking at ways of working. I have meetings with my fellow engineering managers and the tech capability teams to plan how we are going to continuously improve engineering in ASOS. I do a lot of recruitment, so interviews feature heavily in my diary.

My lockdown evenings have me…

I’ve started Italian lessons and go running to attempt to keep fit. I also like to paint at the weekends but sometimes I just flop in front of the TV with a glass of wine!

My most memorable moment at ASOS…

Nabbing a beautiful silver grey coat in a sample sale for £10! It was summer, I wore that coat in the office for the rest of the day, even to meetings. Sample sales are when ASOS sells leftover discounted sample stock, with all proceeds going to the ASOS Foundation.

The best part of my job…

It’s a role where I can help people. Often, the most important thing for people is to be listened to, having someone there for advice and someone to fight your corner when you need it. It’s a big responsibility to be a manager. Having a great one can change the course of your entire career. I do a lot of research and learning to be the best I can be.

One new thing I have learnt in the last year…

Appreciate the good things I already have in my life. It’s easy to get wrapped up in what we don’t have, but sometimes you need to sit back and realise what you do have: the work colleagues who have supported you so far, the friends and family who are there for you, your intelligence, skills, and other resources are all gifts we should remember to be grateful for.

My one piece of advice for aspiring women in Tech…

Tech is awesome! The opportunities are endless, and anything is possible. 30 years ago, we didn’t have iPhones and Google — where tech will take us next is something very exciting. Whether you are an Engineer, a QA, a Product Owner or a Project Manager, you will always be learning and have a very rewarding career.

This International Women’s Day, I #ChooseToChallenge…

I will forge better visibility of women — I’ve noticed a lot of women downplay the great work they do. The difference is clear in CVs and in interviews, where female candidates have some amazing achievements, but they are spoken about like it’s no big deal. I’ve coached a number of female colleagues and friends on ‘promoting their brand’ but I think there is more work to do in understanding why, in general, women are less likely to receive credit/ be noticed for their contributions.

We’re always on the lookout for talented Engineering Managers, Data Engineers and Software Engineers for our data space, take a look at our open vacancies here.

Lisa W is an Engineering Manager — Data at ASOS. She loves travelling, being creative and an ice-cold pint on a sunny day.

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