Joining G-Research (eight months in)
By Thomas Lockie, Senior Software Engineer in Research Data
Joining a new company is both an exciting and daunting prospect, with conflicting feelings at play.
You’re probably equal parts nervous and excited, as you leave behind your old, familiar and comfortable job, for something new and hopefully improved. And no matter what stage of your career you’re at, changing jobs will nearly always feel like this.
As someone who has left and joined multiple companies throughout my career, I’ve got a good evidence base to highlight how this business compares to others, so thought it would be helpful to talk through my experience of joining G-Research.
And you never know, it may help you decide whether G-Research could be the right fit for you.
The hiring process
Unless you have what some may consider an unhealthy desire to be scrutinised by your future colleagues, the hiring process is usually the most unpleasant part of securing a new role. Fortunately, my experience with G-Research wasn’t like that.
The people I interacted with during the interview process were incredibly pleasant and gave me all the information they could for each step of the process, including being frank about what they were really looking for.
For full disclosure, I applied to G-Research as someone with a few years of experience (the actual number makes me feel old, so will remain private). What people were looking for within the interviews may be a little broader for me than for, say, a recent graduate, but the experience will be pretty universal.
Company culture is vital to getting the best out of me – working with like minded people, being empowered to get on with the job, and having the opportunity to socialise and develop personal relationships beyond just work, is something I want.
My first programming role was working within the games industry, an industry which can sometimes be described as work hard, play hard. The culture here is like that, but with fewer of the downsides.
Joining G-Research, I was a little concerned about whether the day-to-day culture I was told about during the interview process was genuine. It sounded a little too good to be true and, from experience, company culture is often exaggerated during interviews. Thankfully, I was happy to find that my interviewers were honest.
Within the Research Data team, everyone is very trusting of each other and their managers, and it quickly struck me just how much each individual is trusted to go about their work and deliver. That’s not to say, however, that people are left to work in isolation. If you do require support on a task or project, team members are quick to help, springing into action, ready to be nominated for best supporting team-member.
As I interact more with people outside of my immediate team, I can see that the ‘can do’ attitude and willingness to work together and get stuff done extends further than just my own team.
After work, there are lots of events and activities organised by the business to participate in, ranging from board games nights, mathematics symposiums and end-of-month drinks. And if none of the current list of activities fit the bill for you, you’re actively encouraged to set up something new with like-minded colleagues.
Any company that exists for a certain number of years will have a build-up of systems, repositories and codebases that expand as far as the eye can see. G-Research is no exception to having a broad range of technology at its disposal.
This means there are older systems loitering around and like every other company I have worked for, if it still works, it will probably be left to do so, but putting technology at the forefront of the business gives people great flexibility and learning opportunities.
We’re empowered to try out languages, frameworks, libraries and techniques to see what the pros and cons are for our particular problem. G-Research definitely believes in the best tool for the job and technology is always at the heart of our solutions.
One thing that really did surprise me is how hands-on you can get with some technology. For example, it is never set in stone that you must use specific database technologies; if you can make a suitable case for a technology there is nothing stopping it being adopted.
Yes, I suffered from acronym overload when I joined. Working in multiple industries has not been kind to me in this regard and I think my suitably glazed expression during conversations conveyed my understanding rather well. I even thought I was prepared when I came from a previous financial services company. What little I knew!
When it comes to G-Research acronyms, there are industry-wide ones, company-specific ones and even people-specific ones (!), and each and every one seems to show new and exciting ways to arrange letters.
With time, YWBF (You Will Be Fluent), but while you’re getting to grips with ATA (All The Acronyms), everyone responds very well when you highlight that you have no clue what something means or is related to (and we are making efforts to improve this across the business)!
On a personal note, I am rather unique in a few factors; I am tall enough to have to duck through your standard UK doorframe, and I am missing my right hand as well.
Aside from the usual day-to-day activities, this also impacts my working life but one thing that was apparent when joining G-Research was how supportive the company was with any requests I had.
Whether this was for standard things like changing office equipment, or accommodating my travel times, my team and the wider company have always dealt with any queries I have had quickly and compassionately – which can’t always be said about all companies.
There is very little I can add here that has not already been said, but if you want to work with great technology that you have a stake in, with people you like working with, in a comfortable environment, then keep an eye out on our job listings.
I’m just over eight months into the job and I’ve loved being here so far, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
So if you’re considering applying – because of this blog or not – let me know when you get here – I would love to get a coffee (or drink of your choice!), and I can teach you some acronyms.
Interested in joining G-Research? View our current vacancies now