Software Development Engineer
June 1, 2020
Hello! I am Sai Geetha, a Software Development Engineer III at Tesco.
My career journey
I joined Tesco as an Enterprise Architect almost ten years ago. It was a brand-new role. However, things did not turn out as planned, and I wondered if Tesco was the right choice for me. But all was not lost. I soon discovered that I had a host of other options to choose from to build my career. I was given the opportunity to take on the role of Mobile Architect given my interest and potential reinforced by an Android Blog that I had crafted in my personal time. Right then, I knew that joining Tesco was one of the best decisions I could ever make.
As a passionate technologist, I wanted to explore, experiment, create, innovate and contribute across various domains and technologies. Starting with Mobile, I moved to the online shopping portal based on .net technologies for the UK, to international projects and Big Data platforms. Tesco is a place to get on, a place where career mobility is encouraged with a robust culture and processes to support. All along, my leaders and team provided me with the support I needed to succeed in every new challenge that I undertook.
If there is a standalone achievement that I am proud of, it is building across formfactor, cross platform and cross-country mobile framework. This would require significant investment and cross-functional effort to implement. Given Tesco’s culture, I received unwavering support from my director to demonstrate my idea and implement it with a small team. The idea generated benefits such as faster time to market across the countries we operate in and consistent customer experience across channels.
When the going gets tough
I moved to the UK for a while to take on another role and work more closely with our customers. At this time, my mother, who was residing in India, had a relapse of cancer, and the prognosis was not good. I needed to travel back and forth between India and the UK. My availability would be impacted, and there was a lot of uncertainty.
It would have been understandable for business stakeholders to be concerned about their dependency on me. The person who was the director at the time offered me endless kindness and support. I could come back to India, stay with my mom in her last moments and then return! I was so touched by this gesture and feel a deep sense of gratitude to this day.
Accountability, freedom, trust, support and respect are the recurring themes of my experience at Tesco in every team that I have worked with and in every geography.
Over the past few weeks, every team has been going all out to make sure that customers have access to essentials. The leaders at Tesco are incredibly hands-on with this effort but have still taken the time to thank each team. The continuous communication by our leaders and the steps that the People team has decided to help us work comfortably from home are only a couple of examples that demonstrate how this large organization comes together at every level to do what is right. This is not something that is triggered by a crisis but something that is engrained in our culture. We have a host of initiatives in place to support the holistic wellbeing of colleagues.
What I currently do
Recently, I made another career shift to Big Data Technologies, one that would be possible in very few places. This team embodies a growth mindset. We learnt about Big Data from scratch through online learning, industry events and networking with experts. This journey of forming a successful team that is adding value to the business through more accurate forecasting is another testament to Tesco Technology’s ability to take risks and believe in people.
What differentiates Tesco Technology from technology companies that simply operate in the retail space is the ability to put the customer at the heart of everything. We speak the language of the customer. This makes technology key to Tesco’s strategy and Tesco’s value, ‘No one tries harder for our customers’.
I look forward to continuing my journey of exploring technology at Tesco.
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