In the latest instalment of our series about life at AND Digital, we spoke to Kashif Javaid, a Mobile Lead based in Manchester.
Kashif was kind enough to offer us an insight into his work and the culture of the AND team in the north west.
- Name: Kashif Javaid
- Time at AND: 1yr
- AND title: Neurodiversity Advocate
AND Digital: Hi Kashif! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what do you do at AND?
Kashif Javaid: I am Mobile Lead based in Manchester. I specialise in native mobile development, as well as dabbling in cross platform development whenever required.
Could you describe your work? How do you describe it to your family?
I'm a native mobile developer with a passion for creating responsive, scalable and accessible apps with a great user experience.
When I try to explain to my father what I do, I say I make apps like Facebook and WhatsApp. When it's to my kids, I tell them I make games which you play on your tablet. To my wife, meanwhile, I simply tell her I make apps which makes her shopping habit easy!
I love learning new technologies and I'm always looking to improve the performance of our apps, using effective design patterns and the right application architecture for the job.
Working with clients
What sort of clients do you work with? What kinds of work have you done for them?
I have been privileged to work with number of clients in retail and health, including Missguided, JDSports and Coop Health.
Each project is very different. Broadly speaking though, my projects involve everything from brainstorming, backlog refinement and development, through to creating deployment pipelines and deploying to App Stores.
What are the biggest challenges working with clients?
While working with clients, we are ambassadors of the AND Digital brand. This makes it essential to build a strong relationship with them.
So, when you join an existing team alongside ANDis [that's what we call our colleagues at AND] and non-ANDis you have to be cautious about your approach. You need to make sure both teams gel together and trust each others capabilities.
The Guide, Build, Equip model we use within AND is an important part of how we work with clients. We're dedicated to building our clients' capabilities, so that our impact lasts even when the project is complete.
Mobile projects are highly visible projects - people are able to quite literally see them in action and try them out. This means feedback is very fast. This is good, but it's important for us to manage client expectations while also keeping the team motivated.
Deadlines are also an important aspect of working with clients. Sometimes we have projects which have deadlines, so we plan our work accordingly to meet them. However, this is always done with the ANDis' wellbeing in mind; that's always a priority.
What makes a project really rewarding and interesting?
All projects are good projects, but if you have a client that gives first-hand feedback, is present at scrum events and able to answer your queries, it just increases your morale. Getting positive feedback from clients always pushes you to put even more effort in to deliver an even better outcome.
I particularly love those projects where I learn new things and new technologies.
Career development and learning and AND Digital
What opportunities are there for career development at AND?
AND provides a whole new opportunity to learn new skills. You have dedicated mentors and career coaches, and access to a wealth of digital learning through AND's Academy, LinkedIn Learning and Pluralsight.
We also have internal sessions which help us learn from other ANDis, and even Slack groups in which ANDis with shared interests can share their learning. Communities of practice are useful too - we have them for different fields including mobile and UX .
What’s it like working at AND? What do you like best about working at the company?
I have enjoyed my time working at AND. You have loads of learning opportunities, and working for a variety of clients means you don’t get bored. Your growth doesn't ever stop.
Our upskilling and innovation days are a huge bonus, as well as a selection of very generous benefits.
What have you learned while at AND? What new skills have you developed?
Your personal growth never stops. Whilst I continually learn new development languages and frameworks, I'm also growing my confidence working with and leading others as a key member of the team.
There's an abundance of wonderful minds here at AND, eager to help and share their knowledge. It's easy to find guidance, and our Slack channels are a great place to learn and ask questions.
Continuous feedback has helped me work on areas that require more focus. It's a positive part of our culture to request feedback from clients and colleagues - it helps us to grow, and progress in our careers.
While I learn a lot from others, I also believe in giving back, so I've been lucky to get involved in open source projects. I'm also working on upskilling other colleagues in mobile development.
Thanks for talking to us Kashif! We appreciate your perspectives on your experience and why you love working at AND.
If you're interested in working with us, just search all available roles in Manchester and elsewhere.