Georgia Drew
Sep 1, 2017
12 mins reading time

Meet the Team: Book Pod

At Holiday Extras, our Web Team works in pods. Each pod is a small team, of differing sizes, each with a strategic goal to work towards. Each pod consists of different roles, including a Pod Lead, an Agile Coach, multiple Software Engineers and Software Testers, as well as any other role required to ensure the pod meets its required strategic objective.

So let’s introduce you to the Book Pod!

Amy Uttley

Amy Uttley

Role:

Book Pod Product Owner and Product Content Manager

Time at HX?

9 years

What do you most enjoy about your role?

Learning! About tech, about our customers, about the best way to communicate inside and outside of the business and about our specialist product range.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Leaving behind my cognitive bias.

What do you most enjoy about working at HX?

The Team.

If you could be an animal what would it be and why?

I would be a dolphin. They are kind, clever and get to live in the sea

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Chocolate. Ideally animal product free, but however I can get it.


Vicky Feaver

Victoria Feaver

Role:

I am an Agile Coach in the HX Web Team

Time at HX?

22 yrs - shh don’t tell anyone

What do you most enjoy about your role?

The variety of people I get to know better! I often work within different pods so I meet lots of interesting people.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Probably to help the team & wider business to understand the value in Scrum and why we work in sprints. Estimating our tickets in Fibonacci is also questioned with ‘why don’t we just estimate in time?’

What do you most enjoy about working at HX?

Holiday Extras is an amazing place to work! Yes, we work hard but we also play hard too!! We are a very sociable bunch here at HX and I’ve made some lifelong friends here.

If you could be an animal what would it be and why?

I’d probably be a bird so I could soar the skies and watch from above

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Hubby’s lasagne - always, it’s the best


Ilarna Nche

Ilarna Nche

Role:

Engineer

Time at HX?

1 year 1 month.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

Having the opportunity to develop.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Keeping up to date with all the new systems.

What do you most enjoy about working at HX?

The work culture and friendly atmosphere.

If you could be an animal what would it be and why?

A human because there’s Internet, video games, movies, TV, Cooked Food, Travelling and warm beds. We humans are lucky.

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

My mum’s barbecue chicken


Hannah Evans

Hannah Evans

Role:

Software Tester

Time at HX?

11 months

What do you most enjoy about your role?

Problem solving, it’s really rewarding finding a bug in an engineer’s work!

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Keeping up to date with all of the latest systems and new features, so much changes here in such a short space of time.

What do you most enjoy about working at HX?

Being able to bring an idea of my own to life and possibly see it on the live website is something I love.

If you could be an animal what would it be and why?

Elephant, they’re so peaceful!

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Pizza Hut’s hot chocolate chip cookie dough, every time!


Latifah Parara

Latifah Parara

Role:

Industrial placement student (Engineer)

Time at HX?

6 weeks

What do you most enjoy about your role?

There is so much to learn! I had never been exposed to these technologies beforehand, and seeing how everything comes together is satisfying. I also love the flexibility of the role and the opportunity to wear many hats.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

At the moment, it’s acclimatising myself to how everything works and how they are done. There are many many acronyms to understand.

What do you most enjoy about working at HX?

The culture is brilliant - everybody is friendly, spritely and helpful. Holiday Extras prides itself on its flex-working and wellbeing policies as well. There are always fun activities to get involved in.

If you could be an animal what would it be and why?

I like dolphins - I can’t say I’d be one though. Hmmm…perhaps a tardigrade? They’re ugly but they’ve outlasted every Earthly disaster.

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

I absolutely cannot make a decision on this. I go through phases with food. Not long ago it was cinnamon rolls, and now it’s pomegranates. The answer would change a lot.


Damian Casey

Damian Casey

Role:

Software Engineer

Time at HX?

21 months

What do you most enjoy about your role?

My favourite thing about working in this role is the stretches that we take on. Stretches allow us to focus our efforts on any area of the business outside of our usual sprint work. They are an amazing way for me to try new things and to make my role as diverse as I want, and as a result I get to take on new responsibilities and continually gain new skills. So my day may be spent coding for my usual sprint work, as well as helping out with recruitment, helping to push our tech brand forward, and coaching and mentoring other members of the team.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

At the moment it is juggling my time efficiently! I’ve taken on quite a bit with stretches and so keeping organised can sometimes be a challenge when there is so much going on! But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What do you most enjoy about working at HX?

I would say the culture that we have here. The people are great and the teams are built up of different roles, meaning that I am not just a coder in a basement with no social interaction! The environment is a lot of fun, it’s busy in a good way and I never wake up dreading coming into work. I’ve always believed that what makes you happy in your job isn’t necessarily what you do, but it’s the people you work with, although fortunately here I feel we have the best of both worlds.

If you could be an animal what would it be and why?

Probably a duck because they quack me up…….(I’m not sorry)

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

I will always be happy with a nice steak and a good red wine!


Jess Everton

Jess Everton

Role:

Agile Coach in Book Pod and Partner content

Time at HX?

2 & ½ years

What do you most enjoy about your role?

I most enjoy working with a variety of people, learning more about the business and being able to get the best out of people.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

The biggest challenge I’m facing at the moment is learning how and when to coach different people to be able to do my job as effectively as I can, as well as trying to learn the language of Web!

What do you most enjoy about working at HX?

The thing I enjoy the most is the opportunity I have to learn everyday and I really enjoy working with new people

If you could be an animal what would it be and why?

I would be a cat. I’m a crazy cat lady and I would have a hundred of them if I could! They’re independent animals but they never stray far from home – a lot like me.

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

I would eat potatoes for the rest of my life, in all different forms. I don’t even have to think twice about that one.


Mitchell Rogers

Mitchell Rogers

Role:

Engineer (IP)

Time at HX?

6 weeks

What do you most enjoy about your role?

Not having to just sit and code but also be able to contribute to how things could be done and working with a wide range of people in different teams

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Getting to grips with all the different languages/toolkits/libraries etc

What do you most enjoy about working at HX?

The people I get to work with and the way HX support being healthy and happy

If you could be an animal what would it be and why?

Dog, because they’re a man’s best friend and get to run around, sleep and eat all day

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Roast Dinner! Nothing beats the classic beef, with the fat used for making potatoes black. Oh and don’t forget the roasted parsnips


Georgia Drew

Georgia Drew

Role:

Software Tester

Time at HX?

4 years 6 months

What do you most enjoy about your role?

Being able to choose my own testing styles and work the way that suits me best.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Understanding the Tech jargon used by our developers!

What do you most enjoy about working at HX?

There is always room for progression and developing your skills. I also love my team!

If you could be an animal what would it be and why?

Bunny Rabbit. They are so cute!

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Christmas roast dinner - with all the trimmings!


Louis Pryer

Louis Pryer

Role:

Software Engineer

Time at HX?

2.5 years

What do you most enjoy about your role?

I enjoy helping others in understanding how everything fits together in our front end code bases. I always aim to improve on the existing code and make it easier to understand for new members both in the web team and in the pod.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

We move very fast in this pod, because of this we need to be flexible and adapt to each change in direction in the least painful way. The hard aspect of this is trying to balance what our stakeholder’s request, while also ensuring the code base is maintainable, paying off technical debt from previous decisions in a reasonable way.

What do you most enjoy about working at HX?

I love having the ability for remote working. I grew up in Brighton so I often go back to visit friends and family every now and again, having the ability to work remotely allows me to do this easily.

If you could be an animal what would it be and why?

I would be a wolf. Every wolf in the pack looks after one another, working together for the success of the pack.

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Paella! I can eat it for every meal, every day. Could also cheat the system by mixing different ingredients in the paella


Thank you for taking the time to read Booking’s meet the team blog, keep an eye out for more blogs coming soon!

Tags team, tech, profiles, book, pod