Our weekly series where we get to introduce you to the people at the heart of our Product Development teams.
This week we spoke to Ally, Technical Lead for our newly formed Platform team on everything from JFDI to how to make it easy for us to give you a job.
Your name and role
Ally Parker, Technical Lead
How long have you done this, what did you do before?
I started as a Technical Lead since July 2017, but since then I’ve bootstrapped and led 3 different teams! In my first team we worked on SQL Monitor alongside another team building out some Estate wide features. Subsequently I worked on an early stage product called SQL Census for analysing database permissions, looking for product/market fit. I’m currently leading a new team with the aim of building out a platform that will allow other product teams to innovate more cheaply and focus on the important stuff our customers want, rather than all the fluff around delivering a product, eg deployment, packaging, etc.
Before Redgate I worked at Hedge Funds in London as an engineer.
How did you become a Tech Lead?
I joined Redgate as a Software Engineer about 3 ½ years ago, briefly landing in our CoreDev team, before moving into a newly created team in Foundry, our R&D division. I’d previously led teams but had never been particularly successful at it. I was glad to be able to focus on technology, but felt I had more to offer. I also didn’t see myself being an engineer for the next 400 years until I retired.
An opportunity came up to apply for a TL role and Redgate gave me the confidence that I’d be given enough support (emotionally as well as upskilling) to be able to take the role on again and win!
What sort of things did you do to prepare you for the role?
I thought through my motivations for wanting to apply — what did I want from it? Could I bring more to Redgate as a TL or as an engineer? What could I do in it that I couldn’t as an engineer? What opportunities would it give me?
Did you always know you wanted to become a Tech Lead?
No, honestly, I’ve pretty much always followed my nose. I’ve never been able to answer the “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” question, other than being able to say I want to work somewhere that treats me as an adult human being and gives clear direction, with collaborative, engaged, reasonable people on something I find challenging and helps me grow.
What’s the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning?
The buzz of a helping a team get to the point where they’re smashing through the work, evolving and having a laugh whilst doing it.
What’s the thing that makes you want to put the alarm on snooze?
Getting hung up on the minutia or edge cases — be it perfecting the nuances of wording in a set of goals or objectives or discounting an idea because it won’t work for 1 in 1000 customers.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone seeking to do your role?
It can feel overwhelming at the start, but once you’re flying it’s so much fun and super rewarding.
Best advice to give to someone looking to join Redgate?
Make it easy for us to give you a job!
Brush up on your interview technique, prep for those annoying “Tell me about a time when…” questions. Be positive and constructive — don’t slag off your old employer/team/work mates.
At the technical interview, show us how you *really* code, not that you’ve read up on red green unit testing etc.
Say “I don’t know” — It’s important to show that you know your limitations, rather than waffling out a vague answer.
Where do you see Redgate in 5 years’ time?
Ha, there’s that question… The core of our business will still be about our customers data, but we’ll be helping them manage, automate and monitor it wherever it is in whatever technology. Products won’t belong to a single team as they’ll be made up of many shared components. Teams will still be small and multi-skilled. We’ll still be reasonable and “No Arseholes” will still be one of our core values.
What’s the motto you live by?
Be bold, be kind and JFDI.
Describe what Ingeniously Simple means to you.
See: What’s the motto you live by :)