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Unlocking the Code: An interview with a Software Engineer

Engineers A

We’re catching up with George Weller to find out what he gets up to at Fluent as a software engineer.

Hi George, 👋 can you walk us through a typical day as a software engineer at Fluent?

I like to begin my day with a mug of tea, which helps me get energised and ready for the tasks ahead.

After that, I usually attend a company all-hands meeting or a stand-up. Since Fluent is a technology consultancy, our engineering team will often work side-by-side with the client's product teams. This means we join stand-ups together, sharing progress and addressing blockers.

Once the stand-up is over, I get to writing code. While I strive to be productive throughout the day, I also understand the importance of finding inspiration and letting creativity flow naturally. It was helpful when I realised that I wasn’t alone in being frustrated when I couldn’t find my “groove’’. I watched a TV special where a bunch of creatives discussed feeling the same way!

Creativity can't be forced on a schedule. So, I find moments to settle in with my cup of tea and allow inspiration to strike when it's ready.

In addition to coding, my day involves attending various meetings. These meetings could be project-related discussions, brainstorming sessions, or progress updates. It's important to stay connected and aligned with the team and clients to ensure smooth projects. I also take breaks to catch up with my colleagues in the office.

I also make time for admin tasks such as updating timesheets or responding to Slack messages and channels. Effective communication is important, and Slack serves as a convenient platform for exchanging ideas, seeking clarifications, and sharing updates.

How does the engineering team collaborate with the UX and Design team at Fluent?

It starts with good communication. The result, which is the digital product we deliver to clients, is often a testament to the effectiveness of our efforts.

I’ve found that every team member here is committed to supporting one another and contributing their knowledge and skills to the success of the project. 

By working closely with the UX and design team, my (engineering) team can better integrate our technical know-how with the insights and perspectives of UX and design. Collaboration in this way enables us to create digital products that meet the unique requirements of our clients and projects. 💛

Can you tell me about a recent project you worked on and your role in it?

Sure, I’ll share my experience in a recent project where time was a significant constraint. 💭

In this project, the client approached Fluent with a clear objective in mind but was uncertain about delivering the product to the end customer within the agreed-upon timeframe. 

My role was to determine their requirements, look into user stories, communicate with the internal team, and identify any areas of ambiguity. I took on the responsibility of envisioning the outcome and worked backwards to chart a development journey.

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Ultimately, we were able to successfully deliver the project within the agreed-upon timeframe. This experience reinforced the significance of asking the right questions and having a shared understanding of the outcome among the teams.


How does Fluent foster a culture of innovation and experimentation?

I join a dedicated monthly catch-up session with other Fluent developers. During these catch-ups, we engage in a show-and-tell session where we share our current projects, technologies, what we have been learning and how we are applying that knowledge.

Additionally, we have discussions centred around our tech radar. By having a better understanding of our current technical landscape, we can identify and focus on emerging technologies that have the potential to shape the future of our industry - and impact our day-to-day work! 

Our Head of Engineering, Pete Morris, leads the tech radar and is always highly receptive to the team's curiosity about new technologies. It encourages me to continuously grow my own skill set and stay ahead of the curve.

By working with a range of clients, we’re exposed to a variety of tech stacks. This exposure further increases curiosity and provides us with insight into different approaches and solutions. 🌍

How does Fluent support employee growth and development within the engineering team? 

We use a dedicated tool that allows me to log my career path and create goals for the years ahead. This tool provides a clear roadmap, outlining the specific steps required to progress and reach the next milestone in my career. 

In addition, I have catch-up sessions where I can discuss progress, share any concerns, and seek guidance or support. These catch-ups provide an opportunity for feedback and mentorship - which I appreciate and look forward to! 

Fluent recognises the importance of learning and up-skilling by providing an L&D budget to us all, which provides us access to resources, training opportunities, and access to industry events. 


Thanks, George! It’s been cool to get a glimpse into your world as a software engineer at Fluent. 💛

Finally, what are the 3 core values that drive Fluent's engineering culture?

I’d say that our 3 core values within the engineering team would be:

  1. Agility 
  2. Quality
  3. Collaboration

Interestingly, the first 2 values can create tension. Agility often emphasises speed and flexibility, which may lead to compromises in quality.

However, I have experienced within my team that it is possible to balance agility and delivering top-quality work. 

Collaboration is the third core value. We believe in having transparency and trust between us and our clients. With a successful collaboration, there must be open and respectful communication, sharing of ideas and concerns, and being accountable for our actions and decisions.

By embracing these three core values—agility, quality, and collaboration—we create an environment that encourages teamwork, innovation, and growth. 

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