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Inside FARFETCH's Culture of Teamwork

By Rui Silva
Rui Silva
Software enthusiast and passionate about anything related to Computers. A day won't go by without his Puma sneakers.
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Inside FARFETCH's Culture of Teamwork
Hello, world!
Ever since I was a little kid, I've always had an aptitude for computers. I was able to get my hands on a computer early on, and thanks to my brother's passion for programming, I followed his steps. The fact that I didn’t complete tertiary education didn't stop me from pursuing my dreams of working as a programmer. It only gave me a chance to start learning on the job from an early age. And so I started developing software in 2014; two years later, I had my first contact with Farfetch. In this blog post, I’ll be talking about my first days at Farfetch, giving you an insight into how things are handled in the first weeks and how values are really taken into account.

How it all started

I was working in a small company in 2016 when I first heard about Farfetch. Back then, I didn't know much about the company, only that it was related to Luxury Fashion.
After the first interview, I was given a short tour around the building. I was astonished by the look of the office. I was told about the values of the company and about how Farfetch was very different from any other employer. I would only understand this later on because even after passing the interviews and being selected, I ended up rejecting the offer because I still had a project to continue at my previous company. Despite that, they said the door would always be open and kept in touch for the 2 years that followed. During that time, I got some calls from the People Team asking me when I would be available and if I still had an interest in joining. In May 2018 I decided to take on this challenge and finally, on the 31st of July, my journey at Farfetch began.

The first weeks

The environment here at the workplace is very friendly, but I couldn't help feeling anxious. When you join Farfetch in Portugal, there is an onboarding week with some induction presentations from many different areas. During this week, you get to know and learn about how the whole company operates and how it is organized. There was one topic that was mentioned in every induction: Farfetch Time. Only later would I understand what this meant: time flies here because you're always working with the best people and you feel like you're contributing to something big. After all the inductions, it was time to be introduced to the team. I was going to be joining the Search Team, and shortly after, I was happy to learn about what I was going to do. I’ve always been fascinated by the evolution of the main search engines, and knowing I was going to work in that same area for Farfetch, has kept me very excited since day one.

The Team

Here in the Search Team, we handle everything that comes through that little search box on the Farfetch website and make sure we give out the best results for what the customer is looking for. On my first day in the Team, I was lucky enough to participate in an off-site event, instead of actually working. This was an amazing opportunity for me to get to know them. During the kart racing activity and afterwards at the barbecue, everyone was super friendly and made me feel like I had been part of the team for a long time.
The following week, I had the task of doing a wish-list, which is a simple exercise everyone does when joining the team to demonstrate our technical skills and at the same time to learn the technology stack that is used.
Apart from C# which I was already into, the team also works with other technologies. ElasticSearch, Kafka and Cassandra are the most important technologies that we work with, which for me was something completely new.
Even though I was still new, everyone was willing to help and they showed a lot of interest in how I was performing and adapting to the team. It was easily noticeable how everyone really lives some of the Farfetch values, such as:

Be Human

Everyone here values each other, even though there are clear differences between us. Some of us are way more experienced than others but that doesn't stop anyone from helping or contributing. All team members have a role that is valued and that's something I was not very used to. I thought that joining a bigger company would make me feel pressured but I felt the opposite. We take pair programming to a whole new level by encouraging such practice on most of our daily tasks. Thus, individual knowledge tends to spread faster to all team members, closing the gap between everyone.

Be Brilliant

One of the most valuable things that I noticed when I joined the team was the quality of the software we deliver. Are we bug-free? Of course not. It is intrinsic to the coding activity for bugs to appear every now and then. And thanks to our code-review practices, and our automated tests, I was able to evolve a lot in the first 3 months. I felt I was getting better every day, with a new challenge around the corner and always learning new things. Obviously, having great team members plays a big role in this.

Todos Juntos

We have each other's back at all times and we always work together as a team. I have yet to find someone who doesn't take this seriously. Our Lead Software Engineer and our Manager always lead by example and are key contributors to the team synergy. Everyone has a clear vision of what we're doing, and what we're going to do. We plan our work accordingly and try to bring the most value we can. Joining this team opened up a whole new world for me. This work opportunity has already made me a better professional and I've met people who I love to work with. It's a pleasure to be in such an environment where I feel I can grow without fearing to make decisions.

The next steps

Working at Farfetch until now has been an amazing opportunity. I have no doubt that my work here does matter and I feel constantly challenged to give my best. It is my responsibility, as well as everyone else’s, to bring the team, the company, and of course, my career, to the next level.

Naturally,  none of what I have mentioned until now would've been possible without the help and guidance of a lot of very talented and hardworking people. I give my highest gratitude to the whole Search and Product Assembly Platform Cluster, and also to everyone who has given me plenty of support throughout this amazing journey and brought me to where I am today. 
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