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Hi I’m David. Back in January, I interviewed for a role within the IT department at AO, the opportunity just kind of happened really.

I like to be active on Linkedin, keeping up with the tech community and everything that’s going on. Through this, I ended up talking to someone at the company and one thing lead to another and here I was at the Bolton offices, sipping on a brew, having just been offered a job.

Fast forward another six months and I’ve progressed from a Software Developer to a Team Lead on the Price & Promotions team; it’s been a wild ride.

I was very clear in my original interview about my ambitions to be a team lead. It was something I felt ready for, and something that wasn’t available in my last role.

At the time, there also wasn’t that kind of opening at AO either. But the encouragement and enthusiasm from the guys coupled with AO’s reputation – both culturally and within the tech community – really attracted me to join the company.

And now with the support and backing of everyone around me, I’ve been able to realise that ambition of being a Team Lead within the Price & Promotions team.

On the Pricing & Promotions team, we’re responsible for any price that is connected across AO. Not the end display that you see on site; that is handled by another team; but everything that goes into that price, we do. Our main responsibility, and I suppose my main responsibility is to make sure we’re competitive for customers, so that they get the best possible price.

We act as a product team, which means we own the product of pricing and promotion. So, there’s a lot of autonomy in what we can decide, and the value we go after. The best way of describing how we work is kind of like a bet, so we would say ‘If we did x, it would add this much value, or it will save this much money, or it will be better for the company in this way’. So, it’s not the traditional approach in IT, but it’s a really interesting way of working which is incredibly refreshing.

I’m still early on in my AO journey despite everything that’s happened; it’s crazy to think that I’ve only been in the office once with lockdown starting just after I started. But the culture of AO, the people and the values have made it really easy to settle in, despite all the craziness. On a personal level, I’m very excited to see the team develop going forwards. I get a real kick out of finding what people really like to do and helping them to do it, and from where the team were when I jumped to Team Lead to where they are now has been a really broadening experience for me. I’ve really enjoyed it, and I hope I had a little part to play in that process.

To end, I think culture is the hardest thing to foster, but it’s the most amazing thing when you get it right. On the outside, I would always hear only good things about AO. But when you’re actually behind the curtain, it’s amazing to see first-hand how highly regarded the culture is, and how it’s nurtured to make sure everyone is striving towards the same goal.

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