“Check-in for a career less ordinary”
Dharmesh Shetty – Senior Analyst.
What’s different about here is how you can go vertically up in your career. The path is there to work hard and have promotions in your chosen field of Tech. However, if you have a passion you want to explore, an aspect you’d like to learn more about – you can actually move sideways here. Not everywhere does that.
Let me put it like this – say you’re bought into a business as a developer, then that’s you, develop! But what if you’ve got an interest for something else in another department entirely? Well, here you can do something about it.
I joined Whitbread Tech as an Automation QA but more and more I found that I wanted to be part of the decision making, not coming in when the development was complete.
It’s got a great working culture here – proactively supporting development – and when I made it clear to my manager what I wanted to do more in getting involved from the ground up, I was bought into meetings where the decisions were made.
I became an SME for Business Booker, then a Technical Analyst and now I’m a Senior Analyst. It’s where I wanted to be. I’m still developing in my role and focussed on making a product better. But my experience as a QA has undoubtably helped me become a better Analyst.
I look after big projects – we’re talking about things that the business plans for the next five years. Making them happen is the really exciting part of my job.
For example, right now I’m looking at a new platform where users can manage the bookings and their Premier Inn card finances.
It’s work like this… it’s not just BAU here, managing the Tech stack. There’s always something new, different ways to improve our product. I’ve worked in places where all they want to do is maintain, not actually innovate.
Ultimately, I’m working towards producing the best user experience. You wear multiple hats in this role; you’re balancing the business need, the developers’ point of view and how it works for the end user. You’re looking at different perspectives of the same scenario.
That’s because at Whitbread, even a small change can have huge impact. It impacts a massive customer base, we’ve got a much loved brand and more than 1,000 hotels!
So even a small decision can make a difference – it could affect millions.
My proudest work so far? Opera, our new booking system. It’s so big for us. It’s not live in all hotels yet, but even for Whitbread’s scale it’s a huge project. It gave me a chance to see the sites, get out and meet the team in Manchester, Birmingham… and see it used in real life. Talking to the end users really made me feel like it was a team effort. Us in Whitbread Tech and the teams in the hotels, all of us together wanting to make it work.
Our previous booking system did everything for us. So it wasn’t simply a case of replacing one thing for another. We’ve broken it down and in doing so we’ve futureproofed the business.
There’s never a dull moment at Whitbread, for various reasons! But there is always a plan. And a future to get excited about – now it’s Opera, soon it will be something else.
We work at speed here and everyone chips in. “I’ll give you a hand” is a phrase you’ll hear in the office a lot. Team lunches are big, we have a feeling of ‘one team’ from the day you join. You have to contribute, to have that rapport. And then before you know it, you’re one of us!