This week on Behind the Scenes we're talking to Tom, our CTO.
Tom studied computer science at Imperial College and previously worked at Amazon. He’s been at Florence for over three years, so we thought it was about time we had a chat with him about his time here.
Here’s what he had to say…
Who are you and what do you do at Florence?
I’m Tom, I’m CTO here at Florence, I look after our product and tech teams.
My day-to-day is helping run the team, building the product that we’re working on and working with other departments to make sure what we’re building is the right thing for the business and the right thing for our users.
It can mean anything from listening to user interviews and understanding some of the challenges they're facing, to making sure what we’re building is exceptionally high standard and solving our customers' problems.
What made you want to join Florence?
I have a background in healthcare. I volunteer with St John Ambulance and I've always had that itch to do something that’s impactful and related to health.
I’ve worked in start ups for eight or nine years now, so Florence seemed like a really good fit for my skill set - combining my knowledge and love for technology, and my knowledge and love for healthcare and helping people.
I think the mixture of those two factors seemed really good and Florence is a very exciting company. We’re making a really big impact with a small team and that excites me.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I think the best bit of advice is about how you can solve a problem as quickly as possible.
Particularly within tech, we tend to look at solutions to problems that are huge and take a long time to do.
I think it’s about taking the lean approach, which is thinking, “How can we do something as quickly as possible?”
It might not be the perfect solution, but it’ll solve the problem - you can get it out really quickly and learn from that.
We do this quite a lot at Florence, we take a problem and say, “How can we solve that problem? Maybe not perfectly but maybe 90% of the way there really quickly?”
Once you do that, you actually learn a huge amount in the process.
It also makes sure our customers are happier faster, because we can get something out in a couple of days rather than weeks and months.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Florence?
It sounds a bit cliché, but I love the people!
It’s a really passionate group of people, everyone is really focussed on the company, the product and the situation within our sector. That just means that every conversation we have and everything that we do is so much easier as we’re all going on that journey together.
What’s the biggest challenge Florence is facing at the moment?
I think it’s how we scale; how we take on our new work, how we expand globally and our growth into the NHS.
All of these new areas are presenting new and exciting challenges, there’s a lot going on which is great but also means we have to make some judgement calls on how we focus our time which can be a challenge.
However we’ve got a great team and everyone is really excited about these areas we’re looking into and I think we’ll have some really great success.
What’s a fun fact about you that might surprise us?
I’m training to be a mountain leader, so I’ll be able to take expeditions on hikes and walks in the mountains.
What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking about joining Florence?
Definitely jump in!
Jump in knowing it’s going to be a very exciting ride.
We grow peoples' careers here really successfully, I feel. If you’re willing to put the energy in and want to spend three or four years with us, really push your career forward and make some impactful change at the same time, then this is a great opportunity to do that.
One of our values is ‘embrace the adventure’. If you’re at the stage in your career where you’re ready to make that change and go all in then I think definitely do it, you won’t regret it!
Where do you see Florence in five years?
We’ll be an incredibly well known and trusted brand across healthcare internationally, and in every country we’re in we’ll be making a big difference to the lives of healthcare workers.
I think it’d be great if we’re also encouraging more people to get into healthcare, because globally there’s a shortage of healthcare workers.
The more we can do to help alleviate that burden - with things like our Florence Academy - is an incredible opportunity and I think that’s where we can have some of the biggest impact longer term.
If you’re in the lookout for a new challenge and want to grow your career, why not check out Florence's available roles?
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