Katarina Dabo, Front End Developer, CarNext.com
I joined CarNext.com six weeks ago. I looked at the website and at the product, and I liked the product and what they were building. Then I realised that they were shipping new releases every two weeks, so I thought this would be a very dynamic environment to work in. I also felt the company offers a lot of opportunities to grow and to learn from senior colleagues, and CarNext.com itself is growing really fast. It’s always very motivating to feel that you can contribute to that growth.
I’m a front-end developer; and this is my first experience of the automotive industry. CarNext.com is disrupting the way the industry works, and I saw the way it’s selling cars and helping customers was something quite new. I don’t even own a car, but I thought I could learn something. I also thought CarNext.com had a very strong position in the market, despite only being present as a brand for a year. That’s what attracted me, and I wanted to be part of that journey.
A lot of people who work at CarNext.com are technical and engineers, so there’s a really strong engineering background. Older companies can potentially face legacy issues, whereas at CarNext.com there is no legacy, which is a great thing for engineers.
I am working on our showroom website, where people can go and buy a used car. There are a lot of visual features and animations. I enjoy building new software from scratch and seeing these products reach the end customer – that gives a lot of satisfaction. I can see the impact right away, because we deploy things every two weeks. Every two weeks there’s an introduction and they are facing the customer, and we do a lot of AB testing so we can see how the changes impact the customer.
The team I work with is really helpful. Since I joined, they have made sure I have got everything up and running quite fast. There was no long onboarding process, no reading lots of documentation. It was more like, ‘Here is the job, let’s go,’ but my team helped along the way, so that was really nice. It’s a very proactive environment, very entrepreneurial. You come up with things yourself and you contribute. I think we are ‘can do’ people, definitely. I have good collaboration within the team, and feel free to speak up.
It’s great to learn and challenge myself, because if you don’t challenge yourself, you don’t learn. There are a lot of experienced young professionals, so it’s really a fun vibe as well.
As the company grows, it’s important for us to look back and see where we are. Are we doing the job well, and how can we do maybe even better? Looking back to reflect on where we’ve come from will only help us to grow more.
As teams are growing, we can hire more people, but we also have to know what these people are going to do. So it’s about having a clear strategy, always going back to the goals, and checking, are we still on the right path? We have built the product, and now we are challenging ourselves to improve it and make it more disruptive. We’re working on that, and there are still a lot of things to learn.
To me, there are a lot of opportunities to actually do stuff and build things from scratch. And it’s not just about momentum – there are a lot of things coming up, as well.