A Day in the Life of a Zego Engineering Manager: Sean King
Written by Millie Paine
At Zego, we love putting the spotlight on the people who make our product amazing. This week, we spoke to Engineering Manager Sean King about his experience in the MedTech industry and his love of watching people grow and develop.
We're currently hiring more Engineering Managers like Sean. Sounds like a role you'd be interested in? Click here to apply.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your role here at Zego and your career journey up to this point.
I’m an Engineering Manager here at Zego, working with a number of different software developers and data engineers within our Platform and B2B teams.
My love of precision and data analytics began when I started working in a physics calibration company as an apprentice. This is where I was first introduced to Matlab and coding, and was given the opportunity to produce data models and uncertainty budgets, turning them into visual representations using GUIs for the non-technical teams to present to customers. I worked there for just over ten years, and progressed up to a technical manager position that involved developing individuals within my team - something that I’m still very passionate about today.
More recently, I spent eight years prior to joining Zego working in the medtech industry as a technical specialist systems engineer and engineering manager, supporting the development and service of clinical and medical research instrumentation. I got to work with loads of amazing technology, but I would say I’m most proud of the contributions I made to the trials for a revolutionary cell analysis instrument that uses high speed electronics to make onboarding data analytics nearly twice as complex as anything that had existed before. Over four years, I collaborated with scientists and in-house specialists to help improve the product through customer trials, which ultimately led to this becoming the most technically-advanced production instrument available today.
Joining Zego presents the second change in my engineering career and allows me to immerse myself in the areas that I’m most passionate about: helping people develop; refining processes; data analytics; and working closely with teams to build world class products.
Starting from when you get into the office each morning, what does a typical day look like for you?
My job is mostly focused on engineering operations rather than hands-on engineering. As an engineering manager at Zego it is my job is to look at team structure, and help to design and refine processes to ensure our teams receive the right amount of support.
We want to ensure our engineering team is well supported and has the best opportunities to develop world class products. We’re growing fast and aim to continue to grow like this for the foreseeable future, therefore a lot of my time is also spent working with our recruitment team to hire the right talent.
What’s your favourite part of your day?
As an Engineering Manager at Zego I get to interact with all levels and disciplines in the business. This gives me the opportunity to get the full picture of how every aspect of the business is running today as well as how we want the business to run in the future.
This is something I love about the nature of my role in particular - I’m able to see the needs of the business and plan how that will impact the engineering team going forwards.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I love seeing people succeed. Being an engineering manager means enabling people to grow and develop - I give my team the tools, processes and information that allows them to excel at their jobs and move to the next level. Whether that’s within the developer space or towards product or people management. At Zego we have the opportunity to allow people to move in many directions, which is not something you get at very many companies.
What would you say is the biggest challenge you face in your day-to-day work? How do you resolve it?
Zego is rapidly expanding, and the challenge is to ensure we put the right processes in place to cater not just for today, but for tomorrow and the day after.
We achieve this mainly by ensuring decisions don’t happen in silos, and taking a collaborative approach to solving problems: it’s up to all of us to find an answer, and this means pulling in expertise from all areas of the business. We’re all from different backgrounds and have diverse experiences, meaning we’re able to make better decisions as a collective.
What opportunities for learning and development do you have here at Zego?
As an Engineering Manager, there are a lot of opportunities to manage people outside of my own skill set. I get to learn from different engineering disciplines and about the insurance world too.
On a team-level, we’re expanding so rapidly that there are lots of opportunities to gain experience. There are opportunities for junior and mid-level engineers to quickly progress by taking on large-scale projects earlier in their career. I mentioned before I was given the opportunity to join an apprenticeship program early in my career and this is something we are looking to do at Zego in the future.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I'm lucky enough to live in the peaceful surroundings of the Hampshire countryside where I get to spend quality time with my young family. Last year we decided a puppy would be a good addition to our home and our already hectic lives. I now have the perfect excuse to take long countryside walks along the canal near our house most weekends, along with a bit of den building with the kids.
What’s the social side of Zego like?
The engineering team is pretty social - we have a regular outing together, most recently we went to an escape room. We’ve just started organising a series of lunch-and-learns: topics such as designing for failure, using R for data analysis and the potential of facial recognition software in our industry. Every Friday we have a weekly wins session with the whole company to end the week followed by a quiz. This brings together members from the engineering and operations teams which helps to unite the different sides of the business.
What’s your favourite thing about working here and why?
The opportunity to learn. Zego is accelerating at an incredible rate, meaning people have to step up, and tackle new challenges - we can’t fix all of our problems through hiring, so we need to grow and learn ourselves quickly as well. It’s a great opportunity for anyone to push their career forward.
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