Posted: May 22, 2023 By Kirsty Luke

A Day in the Life of an Engineering Manager with Kirsty Luke

Kirsty Luke, Engineering Manager at Liberis shares what a 'day in the life' looks like.

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What’s your name and what do you do at Liberis and where in the world do you work?

Hi, I’m Kirsty Luke and I’m an Engineering Manager for Liberis in the UK.

From the moment you wake up in the morning, what do you look forward to for the day ahead?

I can’t wait to find out what problems I will be able to help solve today.  I’m very much still a techie and love to get my teeth into puzzles and find solutions to things.

Describe a typical day for you in your role.

I want to say that there’s no “typical day” in my job as it’s so varied.

We work in two-weekly iterations so at the start and end of those I will be joining the team in planning and retrospective sessions.  I meet daily with the team to ensure that everyone is aligned and that there are no blockers that need my help to clear.  We also have separate regular meetings to talk about the things we will be building in the future.  These refinement sessions help us to understand what the solution will look like and identify any potential issues so that we can avoid them.

Another level to my role is working with my team’s Product Manager to look further ahead and plan the team’s roadmap.  We talk regularly with other teams across Liberis to understand how we can best spend our time to make the most progress on our company goals.

Finally, I am also responsible for the line management and personal development of my team.  This means regular one-to-ones, growth conversations and generally being their primary point of call for any support they need.

What do you love most about your job?

The best part of the job is being able to proudly watch as my team show how the things they have built will make our stakeholder’s lives easier.  Whether that’s an internal tool to save our Ops staff time or a new platform feature to enable us to fund more merchants, it always feels good.

What advice would you give a colleague who has just joined your team?

The number one thing is to make sure that you ask questions!  My team is responsible for the systems that integrate with our partners and manage the flow of funds to and from our merchants.  There is a lot of complex logic here, so it’s important that everyone understands the limit of their own knowledge and always seeks to learn more (that includes me!).

Are you office based, remote or hybrid? What are the pros and cons, if any?

I work fully remote and I manage a fully remote team based throughout the UK.  It’s so refreshing to not have to deal with the stress of the daily commute and the noise and distractions of the office.

Some people claim that it’s easier to collaborate in person, but I just don’t think this is true in engineering.  We have great tools for pair programming, group whiteboarding, problem-solving and just general chat and have a strong culture where people aren’t just on their own all day.  I’ve actually found that remote work makes engineering teams more productive.

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