Emily Castles

About me

I’m Emily, Lead Developer of the Bizimply Web Development Team. I have a background in engineering, but about 7 years ago I decided to train as a programmer as I wanted to work in a more entrepreneurial environment. I have been working on Bizimply’s web product in one way or another ever since I graduated.

As a junior developer, I worked side by side with Bizimply founders Mikey and Gerard, designing and building the initial versions of the product. Five years later and I am part of an expanding team of developers working on software that is helping people streamline their business on a daily basis.

I currently enjoy working from home but I visit the office regularly to catch up with everyone and to make sure I’m in touch with what is going on in the business.

day in the life

My typical day at Bizimply

As lead developer, I effectively have two distinct roles which boil down to writing code and enabling other developers to write code. Since we are a distributed team with three of our developers based in Poland, the majority of our communication happens online via Slack with a video call every afternoon to catch up on what everyone is doing.

It’s cliched, but there is no real typical day for me at Bizimply. Most mornings I start by checking Slack to see if there is anything that requires immediate attention – possibly a new customer bug report, a question from the product team or a discussion with another developer on how we should approach building some new functionality.

Once any urgent items have been dealt with, I check to see if there are any completed features waiting to be reviewed. We release new features and improvements multiple times a week but each one must be peer reviewed by another developer before going live to the customers. Reviewing each other’s code allows us to discuss ways to improve quality, performance, security and so much more. By continuously discussing our code we establish better ways to approach problems and it also allows to have a unified approach in how we build new features.

Next, I will get on with building whatever feature I am currently responsible for. New features are initially spec-ed out by the Product Team but we also have a period of time prior to development where we decide on the best approach for building that particular feature. This allows us to make any tweaks to the spec, simplify the problem and ultimately improve the experience for the customer. We try to build things incrementally, giving the customer the tools they need while ensuring we don’t over-engineer a solution to a problem.

Bugs are a fact of life in this job and we always try to be as responsive as possible. If a customer experiences an error while using the web app, we will get an automatic report straight to Slack. In addition, customers will often report issues they have via the customer support team. One of my favourite things to do is to fix a bug before the customer has even had the chance to contact us about it. It makes the customer really happy and has the added bonus of making the Customer Success team look good 🙂

My favourite part about working with Bizimply

What I love about working for Bizimply is how I’ve gotten to grow as a developer while the company grows. In the beginning, when I wasn’t so experienced, I got to focus on honing my coding skills by working solely on new feature builds. Now the company is maturing I get to work alongside a team of amazing developers on problems of architecture, scale, and performance.

It’s been an amazing journey seeing Bizimply become the company it is today but there’s so much more of the story to come – I’m very much looking forward to being part of that story.  

day in the life