This post is the fourteenth in our series interviewing members of our GoustoTech team. In this post, we meet Christian Naykene who is an Apprentice Software Engineer in our Rockets squad.
Off the back of our successful apprenticeship scheme, we are launching the GoustoTech Talent Academy this year. This is our home for all juniors who join. It offers a focus on how we set them up for success from a skills, support and career path perspective. Each junior will join a highly accommodating team with a buddying system from day one and will be backed up by mentoring and structured learning pathways.
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your role at Gousto.
Hi, I’m Christian and I’m an Apprentice Software Engineer at Gousto. I started out in the Jalapeños squad who are responsible for long-term customer retention and resurrection; the focus is on loyalty systems, targeted discounts and engaging content. I’ve recently moved over to the Rockets squad to get exposure to different projects.
How long have you been at Gousto?
I joined the team a little over two years ago.
Can you tell us a little about your journey before arriving at Gousto?
Before joining Gousto, I worked as an IT support technician in a media company that was subsequently bought by a large corporation. After the acquisition I decided that I wanted to move on from IT support so I began learning about web development with the goal of becoming a software engineer; I used Codecademy and Udemy courses to do this, I also attended some Codebar sessions. I joined Gousto in an IT support role but was also able to work alongside software engineers to resolve customer issues.
What made you decide to join Gousto?
After leaving my previous employer, I was curious to see if software engineering was for me so when the time came to look for my next role, I specifically searched for companies that provided suitable opportunities. Gousto offered those opportunities for me and much more. After a year or so in the IT department, I spoke to the engineering managers about the possibility of transitioning into engineering. At that stage, Gousto had just created the first apprenticeship for another career changer and I asked if I could do the same thing. I wanted to learn but ideally without the additional pressure of having to give up my employment and a salary. The details were ironed out and I started an apprenticeship through Makers coding bootcamp in September last year. I studied there for 3 months before rejoining Gousto as an engineer. I now maintain a portfolio and take exams alongside my day to day work to ensure that I’m developing the right skills. The apprentices have one day a fortnight in which to work on studying.
If I hadn’t been able to secure an apprenticeship role with Gousto I would have left and funded the bootcamp myself, I’m just really glad I was able to get the support I needed without doing that!
What has been the most exciting thing you’ve worked on at Gousto since joining?
My team was responsible for improving Gousto’s cookbook feature and I’ve been working on the backend of this project, which has helped improve the customer experience whilst searching for recipe inspiration and following recipe steps. Getting exposed to how new features are discovered, developed and finally rolled out has been very insightful.
What’s in the pipeline that you’re excited about at Gousto?
Gousto is an ambitious company and has several ongoing projects that I very much look forward to helping come to fruition. I learn new things every day and that makes me very excited.
How would you describe the culture at Gousto?
Challenging, in a good way. At Gousto you get to work with very bright and passionate people so the standards are high, however, there’s plenty of mentorship going around for the more junior engineers.
What stands out to me is how a lot of people here connect through their passion, from software engineering to sports or gaming.
Why would you suggest that someone considers joining us at Gousto Tech?
There’s an abundance of opportunity for professional growth here at Gousto. We are growing at a rapid pace and that comes with new problems to tackle so if you’re a problem solver I’m sure Gousto will be a great fit.