Monzo Staff Weekly Q&A - Jonas Huckestein (Co-Founder & Chief Technical Officer)

Note : All Monzo Q&As to date can be found here :grinning:


Monzo Crew! Stop… hammer time!


Not the banhammer, nor Thor’s hammer. But a loud digital whack on the proverbial table to call you to attention! Did it work? :wink:

As we wrapped up last week’s Q&A, I reliably informed you that we had a surprise for you this week.

But first you better get up to speed with the fountain of all Q&A knowledge! :fountain:

Week 1 : Chris MacLean, Customer Operations & Vulnerable Customers :santa:t2:
Week 2 : James Nicholson, iOS Engineer :green_apple:
Week 3 : Tara Mansfield, People Operations Manager :woman_technologist:t5::man_technologist:t3:
Week 4 : James Routley, Backend Engineer :hammer_and_wrench:
Week 5 : Hugh Wells, Customer Operations :policeman:t3:‍♂
Week 6 : Naz Malik, Technical Specialist :computer:
Week 7 : Fred Morgan, COps Squad Captain (Calls & Social Media) :telephone_receiver:
Week 8 : Emma Northcott, COps Scaling Team :balance_scale:
Week 9 : Jarno Wolf, COps Financial Crime Specialist & Squad Captain :wolf:
Week 10 : Maria Campbell, Head of People :woman_office_worker:t2::man_office_worker:t4:
Week 11 : Jim Amey, Night COps Captain :bat: :crescent_moon:
Week 12 : Richard Cook, Online Community Manager :man_cook:
Week 13 : Beatrice Borbon, Content & Press Manager :newspaper:
Week 14 : Tom Blomfield, CEO :crown:
Week 15 : Ella Johanny, COps/Hiring :handshake:
Week 16 : Harry Ashbridge, Writer :writing_hand:t3:
Week 17 : Beth Scott, Overnight COps :cat2:
Week 18 : Georgie Parmenter, Executive Assistant to the Founders :blonde_woman:
Week 19 : Vulnerable Customers Team :sunflower:
Week 20 : Leah Templeman, Interim VP People :sun_with_face:
Week 21 : Daniel Chatfield, Backend Engineer, Fincrime & Security :closed_lock_with_key:
Week 22 : Valerio Magliulo, Product Manager - Revenue Team :money_with_wings:
Week 23 : Sam Watkin, Operations Analyst :thinking:
Week 24 : Kieran McHugh, Backend Engineer :desktop_computer:


This week, in the Hot Coral Hot Seat™️ we have our Co-Founder and CTO (Chief Technical Officer), the legend that is Jonas Huckestein!


So much to say, but where to start? Well, as the title implies, Jonas co-founded the company back in early 2015 along with Tom, Gary, Paul and Jason! To learn a little bit more about his life as a CTO, you can click here!

Or you can, you know, ask a question right here :wink:

I asked Jonas what he’s currently working on, and he said “Making myself redundant” :confused: :upside_down_face: :thinking: - I think we might need some more context for that one :wink:

I also asked him for an interesting fact about himself! Aaaaaaaaand here it is : Jonas is getting married to Leah in August! :hot_coral_heart: :hot_coral_heart: :hot_coral_heart: :hot_coral_heart:

Our very own Hot Coral Power Couple :grinning:

And what’s his favorite thing about working here?

“Watching everyone develop over the years makes me incredibly proud. I love nothing more than watching an amazing presentation at an all hands meeting about something that I didn’t even know was happening, and thinking back to when we first interviewed the presenter and how far they have come since then. It makes me really happy that Monzo enables that kind of personal development for people.”

Alright y’all. Question time!


Get your questions in, and Jonas will be here later this week to answer them!!!

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What prompted you to start a Bank? And how are you planning to try to make yourself redundant? I think I know what you mean by this but as someone so tied up in development how will you pull yourself :grinning:


What are you really excited for in the next 6 months? :slight_smile:


Are you ballin so big that you can now have a money gun?


What’s the most above and beyond tech related feature/process you think Monzo will get to? The one that makes you think yep we did it!

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What differences do you find between working at tech startups in Silicon Valley compared to in London?


congratulations - where is the honeymoon destination ?

edit - I didn’t think it might be a surprise - so ignore my question Jonas… and just accept my congrats :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Did you already have a system architecture in mind when you co-founded Monzo, or did you develop it with the initial team?

Either way, what process did you go through to come up with the foundations on which Monzo was built?


Hey Jonas :wave:,

If you were to estimate, how much of the original code you wrote when Monzo was founded do you think is still in production today?


You know the drill by now. :joy:


Pineapple on pizza?


Do you believe it’s possible to fully automate fraud detection or does human behaviour have too many variables for that to happen?

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And pizza on cats? :upside_down_face:


Great questions all, keep them coming!

Baby mondo: What are the things you worked on initially before switching to a more managing role (when it was just the 4 of you until Monzo became big enough)?

Developer heart: Are you still working on development things yourself (actual line coding, not specs/architecture). If so, how do you decide this?

Redundancy: What are the things that still makes you a SPOF in the company (if there are any), apart from your seniority? Is there anything only you could do (give example) which are still on prod?

That’s it. Very in awe of your career so far Jonas :+1:


What would you say is your favourite video game?

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  1. What would be your starter kit for a Junior Sys Admin (Laptop/Desktop, OS, suite of applications)
  2. What would you advise them to study and get experience on

—> To be Monzo’s Tony Stark, like you?


Edit: for clarity “study” as in after education, research, learn, independently


Another question, What has made you move on from CTO into a ‘broader executive role’


I will be disappointed if you don’t get these references :slightly_frowning_face:

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What is your super power? Do you have the opportunity to incorporate it into your working life at Monzo on a regular basis?


Do you have any plans once you step back from your role as CTO? Any cool new opportunities to explore?

What’s your favourite text editor? Atom? Sublime?

What do people in the office generally use?