At the end of last year, a new department was formed at Pinpoint. Eugene, our “first R&D pioneer”, dedicates his time to finding new ways of working, to deliver technical projects or source up-to-the-minute technology.
Speaking to Eugene about the first six months in his new role, why he said “yes” to working with us and how he’s found getting to know the team while working from home, he shared insight on life in research and development.
Tell me about your role and how it sits within the team at Pinpoint…
I joined Pinpoint back in October 2020. When I started, I was helping out on projects, learning about the business and the types of websites they work on. However, back when I was going through my interview process, there was a conversation around a new role starting by the end of the year, which is R&D.
During my first few months here, I was lucky enough to dedicate some time to R&D, which helped me transition into my new role. One of the first tasks for research and development was to investigate options on how we can migrate our projects into progressive web apps. I’ve been given the opportunity to try different technologies and different methods to compare them and pick the best approach that fits us.
What kind of projects do you work on?
I look at new technologies, review the way things are done and how these processes can be improved. I also use my past experience because I used to work with this kind of technology but in a slightly different context. I’ve worked on Magento projects before but it’s never in exactly the same way as there’s always something new in the market that wasn’t necessarily there when I last used it.
As well as delivering the progressive web apps project, I’m trying to be proactive and bring value to the team in other ways such as organising the weekly and monthly catch ups with our senior lead developers. In this one-hour slot we share our experiences from the week and it’s a chance for a bit of a knowledge share. I also tell them about what I’ve been working on so I can start integrating it with the team as this is the approach they’ll eventually be using themselves.
Why did you choose to join Pinpoint?
I first found out about Pinpoint thanks to Taryn, the Group’s head of recruitment. She contacted me to ask if I would be interested in a front-end development role and shared a lot of insight into what the company was like – she made me feel very welcome from the start.
Then I started looking at the company on LinkedIn and the website. There was a nice, modern picture of the office which caught my eye as I could see happy, smiling people! I read about all the benefits and testimonials of working at Pinpoint and it made me feel like it’s a people-first kind of agency that really cares about their employees. This culture and the working environment are very important to me as these things makes a company an enjoyable place to work.
From the things I read online, I could also tell that it’s a very fast-growing agency with lots of impressive projects and results. The other factor that made me choose Pinpoint after my interview was Lewis, the managing director.
Can you tell me more about the interview process and how you found your first few days?
When I spoke to Lewis about my skill set and had a more technical interview, he told me that they were wanting to form an R&D department in the near future and that I seemed like I would be suitable for this role. It’s not very often you see a director being involved with the interview process, especially so early on. This made me feel like Pinpoint take a really personal approach, and that the management style was really down to earth. They’re not detached like some bigger companies are where you never see or hear from management, it was really open and straightforward which was awesome.
On my first day, I already had a range of meetings scheduled in to meet different people which made it feel like a proper onboarding process. I was also asked whether I would prefer to be introduced to the company from the office or from home and having this option really helped settle me. Everyone is really supportive too. I don’t know everything there is to know about Magento so whenever I have a question, I know I can always get an answer from our developers.
When I joined, I received a welcome package too which also had some sweets in – I demolished them on the first day! These small things really add up to make you feel welcome. The whole onboarding process just worked really well and helped to make my first week run smoothly.
How have you found getting to know the team while working remote?
To be honest, it was way easier than I thought it would be. I was a bit anxious to begin with because no one knows me, and I don’t know them either. But everyone made me feel welcome – I was already involved in Team chats and I had the opportunity to chat more with my line manager. We talked about more personal things and got to know each other a little better rather than just talking about work which instantly made me feel more relaxed.
It can be intimidating meeting new people who you work with and it can be pressurising to say the right thing. But when people are just down to earth, nice, friendly and chatty it helps you settle in a lot faster.
Another thing to mention is the socials. We had one around Christmas and even though it was optional, I was amazed by how many people joined. It made me feel like we’re all part of a family and since then we’ve been doing regular socials and quizzes which really supports the friendly, supportive and collective culture they have here.
We spend a lot of time at work and it’s up to everyone to make it enjoyable, because if you don’t, it can be a really stressful environment. I used to work like that at some of my previous roles. In many companies, people really don’t care about each other, they just come to do their work, sit there until five o’clock and it’s not a very nice environment – it demotivates you. Although, there are downsides of working remotely…I don’t know what height everyone is!
Can you sum up your first six months at Pinpoint?
To summarise, it’s been very positive. I feel like I’m growing my skills and I’m not just stuck with the same tech, doing the same work. It has given me an opportunity to learn a lot while teaching other people as well. My aim is just to bring value to the team and that people actually enjoy working with me as much as I enjoy working with other people. If you’re looking at applying for a role at Pinpoint, don’t hesitate to do it!
With a culture that encourages both hard work and fun, we know that it’s our people who make us different. Team Pinpoint is home to a refreshingly relatable team of individuals who hold heaps of knowledge across all things Magento, eCommerce, design and development. If you’re keen to start your career with us, take a look at our current vacancies.