A day in the life: Jake Hoggans, Tech Principal, Bristol
06 April 2022 • 5 min read
For our first 'day in the life' of 2022, we're talking to a member of our new Bristol Club (yet to be named at the time of writing!).
- Name: Jake Hoggans
- Time at AND: Just over 1 month
- AND title: Hobby Collector
Read on to find out about Jake's experience starting out at AND Digital and his hopes for the future...
Join us in Bristol. Find out more here.
Hi Jake! Thanks for chatting. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what do you do at AND?
I am a Tech Principal based in Bristol; I specialise in solution architecture and the subsequent delivery of technical solutions. My background is software engineering.
Could you describe your work? How do you describe it to your family?
I engage with AND Digital's clients to understand their challenges from both a business and technology perspective. I make recommendations not only for how they can be resolved, but also for ways of making the client’s offering and capability stronger and more sustainable.
Where a technology solution is required, I design software systems and work closely with teams to guide and evolve delivery.
I also support the internal capabilities and growth of the Bristol Club and ANDis.
What sort of clients do you work with? What kinds of work have you done for them?
I’m very early in my career at AND. However, I’ve already completed my first project for a subscription based e-commerce company. We initially performed a discovery phase with the client, which saw us spending three weeks deep diving into their current user experience (usability, accessibility, and engagement with their primary app) and technical capabilities (teams, processes, and architecture). The objective was to evaluate if what was already in place would support their ambitious feature roadmap and make recommendations where it wouldn’t.
As Bristol is a new club, the client relationships are still forming and there are some really interesting opportunities in the pipeline. It’s an exciting time to be involved.
What are the biggest challenges working with clients?
During discovery phases, the timeframes can be a little tight, especially as you’re going to be depending on the availability of stakeholders to provide a lot of the information required to make your assessment. Some of those conversations can be difficult as well; every discovery is different. However, luckily I was part of an experienced team from other clubs within AND, so the support and guidance was there to ensure that things remained on track.
Why AND Digital?
What attracted you to AND Digital?
I’ve spent most of my career in a growing public sector service and consultancy company. When I decided it was time for a move, I had a lot of things to consider. I was torn between continuing in service/consultancy or moving towards a product company, between looking for another small-medium organisation or a larger behemoth, and between remaining or leaving the public sector.
I was approached by AND Digital and a couple of things piqued my interest. The first was the unique Club model - the way the business is structured around semi-autonomous regional clubs, which grow to a certain size before splitting to continue growth. This seemed to provide an answer for large vs small organisation: maybe I could have the best of both worlds.
The second was the fact that Bristol is a newly forming club. This promised opportunities to shape the club as it grows, an experience I greatly enjoyed in my last role and something that's often missing in consultancies where you’re primarily focused on client work.
Finally, I found out during the interview process that AND had a mix of private and public sector work. My plan is to get some good experience in the private sector, before hopefully returning to the public sector with AND.
How has it been joining AND Digital and being one of the first hires for our new club in Bristol?
The onboarding process was really in-depth, informative, and welcoming. It’s been great to see and influence the process of establishing a new club, from the selection of an office space as our temporary home, through to seeing how client relationships are established.
What makes a project really rewarding and interesting?
I like working on problems which are genuinely important to the client and core to their mission, regardless of sector or industry.
Career development at AND Digital
What opportunities are there for career development at AND?
I haven’t had a chance to get to grips with everything that’s on offer yet. Personal and professional development is obviously very important to AND and there are loads of resources available. There is an internal academy, a budget for accessing external resources, and several knowledge sharing communities.
What’s it like working at AND? What do you like best about working at the company?
So far everyone has been really welcoming and are clearly invested in the principles the company has set out. That was clear from the first day of onboarding, when the founder addressed all new ANDis to share the vision and history of the company. Combined with our Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) I think it’s going to be a great place to work and an interesting journey to be part of.
Learning new skills
What have you learned while at AND? What new skills have you developed?
The majority of my career has been in the public sector, so there were a lot of high level concepts related to e-commerce I needed to get to grips with quickly. AND has lots of experience in this area, so it was easy to pick up. I have developed a long reading list to deepen my understanding of some of these in the future.
I’ve also had the opportunity to be involved with more user and customer facing activities - such as a user interviews - which I haven’t done in the past, it was really interesting to observe and learn how these are performed.
Thanks for taking the time Jake!
If you're thinking about taking the next step in your career, check out all of our open roles, in Bristol and beyond.