What are we working on? The Monzo Weekly Diary

(Maria) #102

Hi all :wave: I’m a little late - I wrote this yesterday but didn’t get time to post before we headed out for our social (:mag: :runner: :spy: :+1: :wine_glass:)

I’m responsible for all things people-related and office-related here, as well as a little bit of finance, general admin, and anything else that needs doing.

It feels like no time has passed since I last wrote this back in early May, but we’ve had 8 new joiners since then across customer support, regulation and engineering - the team’s growing quickly! :chart_with_upwards_trend:

Yesterday I was busy with customer support hiring: two on-site interviews, a couple of initial phone calls, as well as reviewing lots of take-home tasks for various regulatory roles, and a little bit of scheduling for future interviews.

Our hiring process here is split into several stages:

  1. At application, we ask for a CV as well as a paragraph in answer to several questions; these questions help us ensure we’re considering each application on consistent criteria.
  2. The next step is a short initial phone call, usually with me, which covers some general background questions (to understand the person’s story and background, as well as why they’re interested in Mondo) and some job-specific questions which touch on each of the things we view as important to the role. I particularly enjoy the part at the end when applicants ask me all their questions about the company, the culture here, the team and the role itself :heart_eyes:
  3. After that we send a short take-home task, related to the role itself, which usually takes 1-3 hours. This helps us from biasing towards people who are good as thinking on their feed over people who prefer to reflect before making a decision.
  4. The final stage is where we invite applicants to our office for an interview split in two parts - one to talk about the job itself and the key traits and characteristics; and a second session to find out more about them as a person, their expectations for the role, their career aspirations, and check that the ways they prefer to work fit with how we work here so we can be sure they have a good chance of thriving in the culture we’re growing :+1:
  5. And then, finally, references and chatting with the rest of the team in a relaxed context - usually over lunch :sushi:

I’ve also been writing a job ad for an Office Manager (coming super soon!), rearranging our office social area, getting myself set up so that I can edit our careers page as we’re migrating to a new applicant tracking system, and we had a really interesting security briefing yesterday.

Up next: @natasha

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(I Can't Wait Till Tuesday, Scrap The Graph Day!!!!) #103

I applied for a role a few weeks ago and was rejected :joy::neutral_face::cry:

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(CS) #104

I love reading these updates- are you still planning on doing these?



It seems @natasha has forgotten to do hers and it’s all fallen apart :cry: I think there needs to be a punishment for failing to do the diary! Periscope 50 pushups?

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(natasha) #106

50 push ups?! I think I could maybe manage 20… :muscle:t2:

A BIG sorry for forgetting to do this :see_no_evil:

Hello again! A quick update on what I have been working on since I last wrote here.

As before, I am still running everything card related :credit_card: . With the name change, we were trying to manage the manufacture and distribution of the final Mondo cards. I know some people have noticed a bit of a slow down in the speed with which you move through the waiting list. That was a direct result of us trying to manage the name change and the cards together. But, do not fear! While things are still moving along on the new name front, we are back up and running sending out hundreds of Mondo cards a day :tada:. I know how excited I am to keep my Mondo card for as long as possible, and I really hope those who are lucky enough to receive one of the final Mondo branded cards are too (:mondo: 'till I die).

Some of you may remember that I was dealing with all of the merchant enrichment, too. Recently we started sharing this work out amongst the wider Operations team. After doing a handover and starting to share this work out, the team have done a fantastic job at getting your feeds looking spic and span. I would claim this was down to my excellent prep session, but alas, it is purely down to @Yehudi, @emma, @dillonvanauken and @jamesallison being so totally awesome :medal_sports::balloon: !

That’s it from me for now. Next up, @james


(James Nicholson) #107

Thanks Tash!

You might have seen @hugo’s Targets Sneak Peek earlier today. Implicit in that is a whole slew of more fundamental app changes: a re-layout of screens and tabs, new appearances and themes, and various bits of “under the hood” work in preparation. That’s been the majority of what I’ve been working on this week!

Aside from that, you may have spotted that our last releases (1.5.1 and 1.5.2) came in very quick succession to support our migration of top ups. This involved us temporarily skipping TestFlight releases (sorry!) while we shipped as fast as possible.

Turning things around fast kept us very extremely busy at the end of last week, but normal service resumes shortly, so expect some lovely features (and TestFlight betas) for our next releases (1.5.3 and 1.6) :smile:

Next up, I nominate @daniel, who’s recently joined us full-time as a backend engineer :tada:


(Daniel Chatfield) #108

Hi Mondonauts!

Firstly, I’m sorry that this is two days late. My first day at Mondo was just over a year ago when I started a 12 week summer internship. I’ve now graduated and started full time as a security and fraud engineer.

One of the guiding principles of Security @ Mondo is this:

Security at the expense of user experience is a last resort, be creative and find novel solutions.

I think this perfectly sums up what we are about, we will move mountains in the background to try and ensure that everything you do with Mondo is as frictionless as possible. I’m very excited about all the cool things we can do such as:

  • use location as a signal when determining if a card present transaction is fraudulent
  • verify your identity by tapping your passport on your NFC enabled Android phone
  • authenticate 3DS (MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa) transactions by push notification challenge to your phone

Next up, I nominate @jonas


Non-UK Resident (Outside UK) / Questions
(ohemsted) #109

I hope this isn’t intruding. I’m intrigued what you studied at uni, were you focused on security or did you work more on the software side?

I have friends who focused more on Computer Forensics and Security and also some of focused purely on the Software Development side of things and I was just wondering what route you took.


(Phil W) #110

That is straight up awesome :clap:


(Daniel Chatfield) #111

I studied Computer Science at Cambridge.

The course itself doesn’t have much practical security in it (the Cambridge Computer Science course tends to be more theoretical than practical). The course does have a very comprehensive crypto course and a very nice course on the more abstract high level stuff (you can see the lecture notes here)

I’ve always been interested in Security, participating in many bug bounty schemes and finding vulnerabilities (including one CVE).



Love this series, looking forward to following it.
I’ve seen you on the forum tonight @jonas :stuck_out_tongue:

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(Jonas Templestein) #113

Ahem ahem @TDufall stalker alert! Just kidding, you’re absolutely right and many apologies for being slow :snail:

I’m currently working on the following things

  1. Hiring hiring hiring! We’re urgently looking for Android Engineers and Backend Engineers. So if you’re keen or know anyone, please help us out and either apply or spread the word :slight_smile: I’m happy to try and convince anyone who’s on the fence personally. We’ll also publish a job post for Head of Security again soon.

  2. We are preparing for when we finally receive our restricted banking licence. At that point loads of work will become unblocked and the ball will be in our court with the time ticking on the mobilisation clock (we have twelve months to exit mobilisation and receive our full banking licence but we’re aiming to do it in six) :timer_clock: This means having lots of technical meetings with the various payment schemes and third parties required to make the bank run smoothly and to make sure we have all the physical connectivity in place to begin implementation as soon as possible

  3. This week we’re a bit short staffed because @daniel.cannon went on a well-deserved vacation so I have foolishly volunteered to be floating engineer (see @rdingwall’s post earlier in this thread) . As a result, we might be a bit slower at fixing bugs and production issues this week than normal :grimacing: Sorry about that!

Next up I nominate @thisistapas :slight_smile:

PS: Out of curiosity, if we turned this into a series of daily interviews, a sort of webseries, would you watch it? We could add some drama and yell loads on camera etc as necessary


( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #114

Yes i would watch a weekly one for 15 - 20 minutes ish - maybe without the dog (Tom Blom ) - boo - maybe with separate headers for separate dept. so anybody interested in that particular feature could watch the broadcast then comment - its nice to put a face to a name and actually see how passionate you all are about your product and a talk about what you are doing, what you are thinking about for future features - it acts as a much better springboard to further great ideas - from your periscope talks you seem to be getting several hundred views from people with lots of ideas if you tell them where you are trying to go - this I think sets Mondo apart from others - your willingness to listen to “better” ideas and adapt your idea, or adapt the idea offered

I cannot even start to imagine the likes of Lloyds, Barclays , etc with their creaking legacy systems listening as much as you guys do for the benefit of their customers, even Starling I believe is just going to issue their app built , done , dusted like it or not ;-(



I can barely remember what I went downstairs for half the time, so thought I’d help you out :stuck_out_tongue:

I like the short format here, it’s easy to read through, doesn’t require so much attention, and is nice and brief, with lots of different viewpoints. I think some video features would be cool though, and I’m sure we could come up with lots of topic suggestions.

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I love how so many team members from across :mondo: are active on the forums, and how receptive the team are to ideas.

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(Tapas) #117

Thanks @jonas for the nomination :slight_smile:

Sorry this is a day late! :see_no_evil:

Hey Mondonauts! I’m @tapas (yes like the Spanish food) and I’ve just joined the Mondo team :mondo: :tada:

I’m one of the guys you will hopefully talk to when you face an issue of any sort with the app via the in app chat. :wink: (Hopefully you don’t have any issues and you are just popping in to say hey!)

It’s been an exciting week and a bit for me, with lots and lots of information processing on how everything works here at Mondo and getting used to the super cool working environment that we are all building. :grin:

This week specifically I’ve started to learn about fraudulent transactions and ensure that we are logging information on the cases as best as we can.

Just a week and half in to working at Mondo it’s become very obvious to me that we are all on a game changing journey.

That’s it from me today! Hope to speak to all of you at some point in your Mondo journeys. If ever you need any help with anything Mondo or just want to have a chat come and say hello through the in app chat. :blush:

Next up I nominate @matt


(Josh Bray) #118

You have no idea, Trust me. :unamused: The systems we use are old but very efficient at what they do.

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( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #119

I agree I experienced it yesterday when I spent about 2 hours trying to log on to the Lloyds internet service , with no luck, I rang customer services and after 5 minutes getting through the security questions was informed yes we are having difficulties with the internet banking and should be fixed soon, I said why not put it up on the website that there was a problem with service to let your customers know - all I got was an error code on the screen - - and she said yes that would be a good idea …hmmmm .
Then this morning I went into my bank that I have been with for 25 years to be told by quite a surley manager that I have never set eyes on - we only have one member of staff on the counter because its lunchtime ( when most customers have spare time :wink: to do their banking business …doh … ) and we don’t actually know who you are to do a chaps payment.



Most banks were affected yesterday and today by the BT outages but it seems a few didn’t get it on their websites in time :confused:

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(Josh Bray) #121

Yeah sorry about that. I can’t comment officially, but we were having some serious issues with one if our suppliers (I can’t say which one but I’m sure you know). This caused mass outages with our digital services. It wasn’t fun for us either as some internal services and systems weren’t available. But as far as I’m aware our payment processing systems didn’t go down so other than the website and online banking I don’t think anything else was affected.

As regards to the branch, that doesn’t seem right at all. They should have more than one person on at all times. Did you try speaking to the branch manager about this? They would be the first port of call to register your concern.

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