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Talking Talent with MPB

As part of our Talent Talk series, we caught up with MPB, a company transforming the way people buy, sell and trade in photo and video kit.

MPB are currently hiring new members to join their Sussex-based team, so we find out more about life at their company and what they look for in new team members. 
 

Developing people is incredibly important to us. We want to ensure that everyone's career is heading exactly where they want it to and our team is fully supported in achieving their goals. 


What do you look for when interviewing someone for your team? 

Currently we are hiring across a wide spectrum of engineering levels but there are common threads that we look for in all candidates. 

We want to hire people with a growth mindset whether that is candidates coming in at our entry level or those with a good few years experience. It’s our job when interviewing candidates to look for the potential and that can sometimes mean recognising areas where candidates will require specific coaching or perhaps cross-skilling in a new technology. 

I’d like to think we have the frameworks, processes and also opportunities to really help candidates achieve their goals and that is a huge motivation for us. 

There is also a strong focus on culture & values. We want to hire people that don’t simply align with our culture & values but can add to them and help us improve. A question we often ask ourselves when reviewing candidates we have met is “Are they smart & kind”, those two words are a simple but very effective lens judge the overall fit for a candidate. 
 

What opportunities are there for career progression at MPB? 

Developing people is incredibly important to us. We want to ensure that everyone's career is heading exactly where they want it to and our team is fully supported in achieving their goals. 

We created our internal career framework to achieve this. It’s based on feedback from existing team members and it’s had an overwhelmingly positive response. 
The framework enables us to work collaboratively with you, helping you develop the necessary skills you need to progress down your career path. 

For some, that will mean stepping into a leadership role with direct reports. For others, that will mean excelling in your programming abilities. Seniority doesn’t have to mean people management, we recognise that leading by example is as valuable as direct support. So, being promoted doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop coding. 

The internal career framework has been leveraged to guide the career path and promotion for 7 team members in the last 14 months. These have been across all levels of experience and disciplines from Associate all the way up to Engineering Director and Head of roles. 



Chris Doughty, Engineering Director

What is your position, and how would you describe a typical working day? 

As part of the Product & Engineering leadership team my typical day tends to involve a mixture of line management related activities such as 121s, team meetings as well as more strategic activities for how we want the department to move forward. In addition to this I am currently focussed on leading our recruitment and therefore a large part of my day is reviewing candidate CVs, arranging & conducting interviews and hopefully making job offers!

What experience do you need for the role?

Ideally for this role you would have come from a software engineering background and held prior leadership roles building and managing multidisciplinary teams. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

As a leader the most rewarding parts of my job are seeing teams and individual members thrive. Helping people reach their potential brings huge satisfaction. Hiring can be a challenge especially in the current environment but getting to meet people who you know will be a great fit for the organisation and our department is very rewarding.


Marie Andrew, Scrum Master

What is your position, and how would you describe a typical working day?

A typical day is divided between the structure of Scrum Ceremonies which are regular and scheduled, and being reactive to anything that comes out of standups, or that the team need support with throughout the day. 

What experience do you need for the role? 

A good practical understanding and appreciation of Agile, Scrum and Lean principles is essential. One route into this is through a Scrum-master course and Scrum Master certifications, and can also be gained in working within an Agile team, supporting the facilitation of ceremonies and gaining experience around how the team processes can be improved through the feedback cycle of retrospectives. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job? 

For me it’s about making a difference. In this role you can really improve people’s working lives by listening to them and working together to make improvements to how they work. Being able to coach a team and see those differences taking effect is very rewarding.


Phil Woods, Lead Software Engineer

What is your position, and how would you describe a typical working day? 

At MPB, I work in one of our agile engineering teams, primarily developing our backend services. A typical day involves writing Python code in our Django services. I coordinate with the team, help and pair with teammates that need advice about the tickets they are working on. I review tickets to make sure they contain enough technical detail for the team to work on. I progressively improve our testing and documentation to help make life easier for the rest of the team. 

What experience do you need for the role? 

Experience with Python and Django is preferable, but not required. You will need a wide range of experience with technologies and programming languages. Mentoring and leading the team of developers requires good communication and management skills.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? 

Tackling a complicated problem in an elegant and maintainable way with good tests and documentation is very rewarding. I like to feel like I am raising the teams’ standards, which in turn helps us deliver changes quickly and reliably, a common goal for most technology teams. Ultimately this improves the quality of life for the entire team, creating a virtuous circle of continuous improvement.

 

Want to know more about MPB? ...... 

Meet the team: How To Give a Good Interview & Build the Best Portfolio | MPB | Talent Fest '21 


If you like the sound of working at MPB, you can check out all of their latest job roles alongside other open vacancies here

 

About the author

Francesca Rowe

Member Services Coordinator

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