The Junior Developers Story

This is the last post in a series about the Thankyou Payroll team’s rapid growth and changes after their successful equity crowdfunding campaign in 2017. We’re going to end with a member from our Dev Team, Janie Tito.

Tēna koutou, Ko Janie Tito tōku ingoa. Ko Ngāpuhi me Ngāti Whātua ngā iwi. Ko Parawhau te hapū. Ko Tangiteroria te marae. Kei Whanganui-A-Tara e noho ana au.

My name is Janie and I am a software developer at Thankyou Payroll. I started near the end of 2017, after graduating Enspiral Dev Academy. I was a secondary teacher before that, for 15 years, so it has been a huge change for me, moving into a very different working environment.

My kurī (dog) Roxy

Coming to Thankyou Payroll was not an easy road. When I gave up teaching, I also decided that I wanted to have more control over where I worked, so that my employer’s values aligned with my own. So even though I was keen to just get a start in the tech world, I turned down a couple of roles at really great businesses, and it was terrifying! But it was worth it, as the perfect job opportunity came up at Thankyou Payroll. Their environmental values, social enterprise model and charitable giving are just some of the reasons I wanted to work here. The ‘bring your dogs to work’ just sealed the deal.

As a Junior Developer, I expected to learn a lot and be confused a lot of the time, and I have done both. I have been mentored by Sebastian Ibanez, our Senior Developer, and with the help and support of the whole dev team, I gained the confidence and knowledge to help build a new website and an Employee App for iOS and Android.

It has been fascinating to see the development process from start to finish (is there such as thing as ‘finish’ in software?). The ideas that begin as simple wireframe sketches are fleshed out and made beautiful by the designers. The User Experience testing, making sure that we make something that looks good but is also very usable. Ongoing software testing, updating, re-testing and repeat — until finally it gets pushed to ‘production’.

I can’t tell you how nervous, excited and then ecstatic I felt when our app went into the Apple and Google Play stores, and I reckon it’s a fabulous product we can all be proud of. Currently, we are in the process of redesigning and improving our payroll system’s user interface, so I am really excited to continue my learning journey and contribute towards more great products from Thankyou Payroll.

“I have never experienced that level of support for te reo in any workplace before.”

Our golden rules

I think Thankyou Payroll’s greatest asset is the people. Thankyou Payroll actually walk the talk — when they say they care about people and community, they mean it, and they reflect it in every part of the business. There is so much diversity here — everyone in the dev team is from a different country and we are 50% women. We are supported to make our work fit into our lives, not the other way around. Last week we went on a company retreat, and did some brainstorming on how to make Thankyou Payroll even better. One of the strategic goals that we workshopped was for us all to learn te reo Māori. For Te Wiki o te reo Māori (Māori language week) a lot of staff learned and shared their pepehā (introduction) in te reo. I have never experienced that level of support for te reo in any workplace before.

My tamāhine and I

“He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata — What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people” is a whakataukī (proverb) that is genuinely at the heart of Thankyou Payroll, and I feel so privileged to be a part of it.

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Thankyou Payroll is a social enterprise providing online payroll and PAYE filing services for businesses and charities in New Zealand. If you want to be part of something more than just payroll, sign up to Thankyou Payroll here.

Growing together: The Junior Developers Story was originally published in Thankyou Payroll on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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