Getting to know our Engineers at Funding Circle: Q&A with Catalina Tudor
This is part of a regular series where we catch up with our engineers to discover more about what life is like in the Engineering team here at Funding Circle!
Name: Catalina Tudor
What is your role & team?
I am a software engineer working alongside the Growth Engineering team (Silverhawks) here at Funding Circle. Our team is looking into improving the borrower experience through identifying different pain points on the user journey and focussing on making their interaction with the website as straightforward as possible.
How long have you been with Funding Circle?
I’ve been with Funding Circle for almost 3 years now. It’s been an interesting journey so far and it definitely feels much shorter.
Why did you choose Funding Circle for your next role?
I think it was quite a lucky coincidence. I was attending my first front-end related meetup in London, it was organised by two FC employees and it was hosted in our office. That’s when I found out that FC just opened a position for a Junior Engineer. I was at a point in my career when I had reached the peak of my potential in the role and was actually looking for a change to explore something new. My previous job was in eCommerce so even though it was a great opportunity to start my career and exercise my knowledge it didn’t offer many opportunities in terms of career progression and personal growth. So as you can imagine, I immediately took the opportunity and applied with Funding Circle; almost 3 years later here I am with still plenty of exciting things to explore alongside great people willing to share their knowledge.
How do you start your day?
It definitely has to start with a coffee. The team has daily stand-up meetings every morning and discusses the work we will be doing that day, along with any possible issues we may encounter, so I try to wrap up everything that might carry over from the previous day and prepare my update.
What do you enjoy most about Funding Circle?
I would have to say the people. Everyone is so knowledgeable and passionate about what they do and it’s contagious. Another great thing about FC Engineering is that everyone is willing to share their knowledge and learnings with a smile on their faces. I’ve learned so much since I’ve joined and it’s predominantly because of this.
What are the main challenges you face?
Because the objective of our team is ultimately improving the user experience up the end of the borrower journey by A/B testing small changes, we always have to make sure that we’re not deteriorating the current experience. That sometimes poses challenges in terms of coming up with original, creative ideas that will improve conversion and deliver the best user experience. In the end we’re focused on delivering simplicity, usability and great performance so putting ourselves into our borrower’s shoes makes a real difference.
Talk us through some of the projects you are working on?
At the moment our main focus is to finish the work required for delivering our main objective for this quarter. The main purpose of this objective is to simplify the user experience on the details page of the application by pre populating fields with borrower information we extract from Company House. This objective was quite complex but it allowed us to explore a lot and challenged our flexibility as a team.
Because it’s the end of the quarter, we’re also quite busy concentrating on brainstorming ideas for the next quarter’s objectives.
What advice would you give someone interviewing with Funding Circle engineering teams?
I will answer this question from the perspective of my experience here but I think it’s still valid for the entire engineering team. One important aspect of our day to day work in FC Engineering is pairing; that involves being able to collaborate with your peers and explain your train of thought while implementing your ideas. During interviews, I think problem solving and being able to explain your approach will definitely weigh more than remembering every tiny syntax detail. Everyone is so friendly and approachable, the atmosphere is relaxed so don’t be afraid to ask questions and just try to be yourself!