Monzo Staff Weekly Q&A - Meri Williams (CTO) 💻


(Simon B) #1

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


Brave, bold, bodies of the best bank bulletin board, we’re back!
And with some awesome alliterative attitude. Yes, it’s one of those days again :wink:

There’s your A’s and B’s. But today we’re talking C’s. Specifically C-Suite, and more specifically CTO which means Chief Technology Officer.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! :arrow_right:

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It’s only the 6th of November, and this month we’ve already started rolling out interest-bearing Savings Pots, showed you how we’re building our own in-house customer support chat system, explained why and how our community (that’s you!) help us build a better bank, launched what we’ve been calling “same day Monzo” which means you can start using NFC payments as soon as you sign up rather than having to wait for the card to arrive, and we showed you how we name things at Monzo :grinning:

Wow! What a list. And so much more to come.

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Now, let’s make sure you’re all up to date! :grinning:

*Click here to see all previous Q&As*

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:

Week 25 : Jonas Huckestein, Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer :computer_mouse:

Week 26 : Annual Report Edition with Tristan Thomas and Julie Oey :calendar:

Week 27 : Zander Brade, Lead Product Designer :pencil2:

Week 28 : Richard Dingwall, Payments Engineer :moneybag: :wrench:

Week 29 : Oliver Beattie, Head of Engineering (Reliability Report Special) :watch:

Week 30 : Bruno Vaz Moço, Product Manager (Scalers) :balance_scale:

Week 31 : Dillon Van Auken, Remote COps Team Lead and Vegas Project Team Lead :first_quarter_moon_with_face: 🂡

Week 32 : Rhys Davies, COps Cardiff Office :dragon:

Week 33 : Emily Parrett, COps Call & The Gang :phone:

Week 34 : Liam Houghton, Ops Fixer :hammer_and_wrench:

Week 35 : Frances Coyle, Legal Team :scroll:

Week 36 : Shak Welch, COps Fincrime Specialist :police_car:

Week 37 : Sarah Allen, People Operations :woman: :man:

Week 38 : Simon B, COps Community Specialist :globe_with_meridians:

Week 39 : Natalie Price, Visual Designer :paintbrush:

Week 40 : George Webster, Night Cop :crescent_moon:

Week 41 : Brenda Wong, COps, Call & The Gang :telephone_receiver:

Week 42 : Niamh Power, Mobile Engineer (Android and iOS) :calling:

Week 43 : Vuokko Aro, Lead Product Designer :paintbrush:

Joining us in the Hot Coral Hot Seat™️ this week, I’m proud to present our amazing CTO, Meri Williams!

Meri joined us in August this year after doing incredible things at Moo, and she’s also the Co-Curator and Chair at the #LeadDev conference :grinning:

She’s working on scaling up our engineering team and our ways of working - it’s a hugely important time for us, because we’ve already doubled the engineering team in the last 3 months.

One fun fact about Meri is that as a teenager, she built part of South Africa’s first satellite!!!

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Her favorite thing about working here at Monzo?

I love the mission - making money work for everyone - as well as the brilliant team & culture inside the company

Awesome stuff!!

Get your question in and Meri will be answering them later in the week :grinning:


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(#savetheseabass) #2

What part of the satellite did you build and how did that come about when you were only a teenager? :woman_astronaut:

Why did you decide to join Monzo, was it the mission or something else?


(Simon B) #3

What’s surprised and/or impressed you so far about the company structure, or how we run engineering?


(Tom ) #4

Why do you think Monzo chose you?


#5

What’s your favourite joke?

I’m afraid I can’t allow you to just put Starling.


(Aden ) #6

What parallels are there between technology in government and banking?


#7

Was that a joke?


(Antoine A.) #8

Q1: I know you’ve been chased for months/years by Jonas, Eileen, Tom, and many board / staff members so you would join. What was the point that made you decide “that’s it, I’m on”?

Q2: Isn’t it too difficult to keep the pace/stress level up when it gets more and more confortable in term of runway/ressources? How do you manage to maintain the overall productivity when team is growing (in term of hours worked, output, etc)?

Q3: Quote an amazing piece of the “engineering people system” at Monzo that you created or discovered after you joined and you find extremely efficient (it could be a process/tool/achievement/etc).

Q4: What’s your killer argument when it comes to convincing top-notch engineers to join (the big fishes you really want)?

Q5: What are the plans to scale the engineering team once Monzo is international and why it would make sense (or not) to do so?

Q6: What’s the engineering team hierarchy now and what will it be in 6/12months?

That’s it for me. Probably have many more questions but I’ll see what others ask :slight_smile:


(Simon B) #9

Last chance to get your questions in folks - Meri will be answering tomorrow :slight_smile:


#10

What’s your favourite aspect of working at Monzo?

How have you found settling into our culture?

What’s your spare time filled with?


#11

Is there any feature you’re impatiently waiting for monzo to introduce?


(Dan) #12
  1. What companies have you helped scale previously?

  2. Is the engineering team structure at Monzo similar to companies you’ve worked at previously?


(Tom ) #13

What changes have you already made?


#14

So no Meri last week. But that’s great because I can hopefully slip in a few last minute questions!

  • You’ve had such warm words spoken about you, did you ever / do you ever feel the pressure of expectation on you?
  • internally, what’s the visibility of / relationship with the Community like? Do you have people affected (either emotionally or in terms of what they do work-wise) by what they read here?

Looking forward to your answers! :+1::blush:


(Tom ) #15

Meri so busy that Meri can’t even talk about Meri


(#savetheseabass) #16

I blame the refactathon


#17

And she’ll soon be super busy with Meri Christmas and all.

(that’s really really terrible isn’t it. Sorry all. And especially to Meri)


#18

Didn’t that used to be on ITV in the 90s?


(Tom ) #19

I think you should go on your Meri way after that howler.


#20

I’m Meri Meri sorry.