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At Reward Gateway, our Engineering team are responsible for developing and shipping huge, feature-rich products and tools for our platform; scalable technical solutions enabling thousands of companies to engage over five million employees daily. In this series, we sit down with a few of our superstar Engineers - from RG Newbies to Developers who have been with us for over a decade - to find out what it's like to work at Reward Gateway, what inspires them as Engineers and what up-and-coming Engineers need to know to score a fantastic career and make their own world a better place to work.

One of RG's newest engineers but bringing a wealth of industry knowledge, Matt tells us about what inspires him, how he works and how new talent can benefit every engineer.

Hi Matt. Have you been at RG long?

I’m a lead engineer, but I’ve only been at RG for a little over 6 months. I look after SmartPay — it’s really a whole suite of tools, and I’m looking after about 12 Engineers altogether, one in the UK and everybody else is in Bulgaria.

We work very closely with Product, too. And actually, this is one of the things that has really stood out for me for RG. I've had a lot of industry experience and I've never worked anywhere where there is so much cohesion between product and engineering.

And that’s rare?

It’s not very usual at all. It's normally a bit of a ‘them vs us’ type thing, but at RG we are just one team, which is terrific.

What do you credit for that?

To be honest, I think it's the culture generally; it's very inclusive.

Before RG, I worked for a huge corporate automotive company. I was being pushed into a senior management role, which I didn't like, and the culture gave the impression that people were interchangeable. So there was very little focus on the people. Before that, I was a contractor, so I've seen the [ugly] side of everything. 

And before all of that, I was a teacher. I taught programming and computer electronic courses. 

So, I suppose I've always loved the people's side of work more than anything. Everywhere I'd been, that seemed at odds with what management wanted to focus on, except at Reward Gateway. 

But you've only been at RG a few months? You've settled in quick?

Yeah, I think I have. Almost immediately, I fell in love with my team because they're all amazing people. They're incredibly talented; I've seen many developers and interviewed many students in my career. I can say the set of devs I work with now are among the 'top ten' of people I've ever seen. And I really believe that.

So to be in a position as a manager is a tremendous privilege for me. I probably learn more from them than they learn from me. That's how RG wins out, too: everybody hasn't forgotten how to care for people.   I tell others that we're big enough to survive and thrive but small enough to care.

So, despite not being at RG long, have you had much chance to take advantage of the benefits I've heard about?

If you're not learning, I believe you're not doing your job. I think everybody should approach jobs as a beginner because if you come in as a beginner, you have unlimited options. In contrast, if you approach something as an expert, you have very few. I believe that so much I have it tattooed on my arm [laughs].

So Pluralsight, which we all get free access to, has helped hone my skills. It's good because it encourages everyone not to stand still, keep learning, and proves that it's okay not to know everything. And yes, I have taken advantage of the Book Benefit, which lets us order any number of books for free via RG that we might be interested in.

What books have you picked up?

Frame 2I've just finished reading Clean Code by Robert Cecil Martin. But we're not bound to books about work-related stuff, so I also picked up a book about archery lately because I'm really into archery.

Suddenly I want to learn about coding and archery. But what is it that you look for in new colleagues? As a senior engineer — what spark makes you want to work with someone? 

The primary, showstopping thing I need from anybody I meet or work with is an open attitude to learning. Which probably doesn't come as a surprise considering what I just said to you. [laughs]

A good attitude toward learning is the most fundamental thing to me. I mean that: it doesn't matter whether it is somebody who has never touched a keyboard before or someone with 15 years of experience — if they don't have an open attitude to learning, then they rarely get further than that because everybody at Reward Gateway does. 

If you bring an open attitude to learning, it doesn't matter what gaps in your knowledge or skills are — we'll help you learn.

Inspired? We’re always looking to grow our Engineering teams to work with more great people like Matt, to help us in our mission of making the world a better place to work. If you’re ready for a new challenge in your engineering career, regardless of what stage you’re at, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our open roles here. Or, find more inspiration and follow what we’re up at rg.co/lifeatrg

Catrin Lewis

As Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications, Catrin's main focus is to make Reward Gateway a better place to work. Using the Engagement Bridge™ model, she drives our mission, purpose and values while adding sparkle and creativity to our internal communications.

Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications