New Starters: Get to know our new Spica Stars!

November 17, 2022
Zoya Mahmood

We are excited to have our new Spica stars! Our team has grown significantly during the previous six months, so we decided to have a little chat to know them better and ask how their journey has been so far at Spica. 

  • Cameron Wright (CW) a Senior Software Engineer joined the Product R&D squad
  • Richard Eagles (RE) joined our organization as Technical Support Engineer in the Customer Services Department
  • Zoya Mahmood (ZM) took on a new role as an HR and Marketing Assistant 

Q: Hello everyone, we’re thrilled to have you on board! Could you tell us about your role at Spica?

ZM: My primary responsibilities are split between two different departments: Marketing and Human Resources. I also administrate recruitment functions here at Spica where I assist managers in scheduling interviews and monitoring the recruiting process. Furthermore, I manage the social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. 

CW: I’ve been with Spica for around three months as a Software Engineer. I began working part-time for the first month while completing my master’s degree. I’ve been working full-time for two months (I lose track of time; time does fly when you’re having fun!). I’ve been a member of the Swordfish Squad, whose primary focus has been on the analytics side, specifically the dashboards displayed to our clients. Through the Spica Workplace platform GemEx Engine clients can monitor the building temperature, water quality, and employee utilisation, as well as the space’s availability. So far, I’ve been working on this.   

RE: My role at Spica is to take all the customer’s information for their building and adjusting ready to be uploaded into our app. This consist of cleaning up floor plans, geolocation (GPS), and creating workspaces and meetings room. I also work on ticket support where customers raise tickets for requests/issues and get them resolved.

Q: What’s the most exciting part of working at Spica?

ZM: Working in two different areas is definitely one of the most intriguing aspects for me. I joined as an HR Assistant but as I had some experience and passion in Marketing, I was offered the chance to help the Marketing team at Spica. The fact that there is a lot of room for improvement. Finding a workplace atmosphere in which everyone is highly helpful and supportive of one another is rare, that’s the best thing about working at Spica. An interesting side note is that both of my managers are named Gemma! 

CW: It’s quite recently that Spica was acquired by Nordomatic. It would be interesting to see how it evolves in the future and how we incorporate it into the wider ecosystem. There will undoubtedly be numerous new opportunities. I suppose because of this, on a day-to-day basis, there is a lot of work to be done. Features, requests, and bug fix coming in from existing clients, so it’s thrilling to work!  

RE: My first week at Spica was filled with adventure as I travelled to Sweden to complete an installation at two sites. My responsibilities included scanning the QR codes on each sensor and providing information, such as the desk names and descriptions, on the Spica Workplace platform GemEx Engine in order to precisely determine the location of each sensor. I stayed there for over a week, and it was a wonderful experience as everyone on the team supported me every step of the way.

Q: Can you give us a bit of your background? How did you come to Spica? 

ZM: I moved to the UK last year to pursue a master’s degree. Initially, I worked for Spica as a part-time Human Resources and Recruitment Administrator. As soon as I handed in my dissertation, I began working full-time as an HR & Marketing Assistant. My background was not in HR so finding a job pertaining to my master’s degree was somewhat of a challenge for me. Spica provided me with the golden chance to kickstart my career in HR and I couldn’t be more excited and grateful for the opportunity. 

CW: Before joining Spica, I was pursuing a master’s degree in Urban Analytics at Glasgow University. Prior to that, I had spent around three years as a software developer at several firms. I have expertise with Java back-end development and Angular front-end development, which corresponds with the stack utilised by Spica.

RE: My brother Liam Eagles, who works at Spica as Lead Support Engineer referred me. Since my father was in the IT industry, we have always had an interest in the field. It was originally me that went into the care field, while Liam went into the IT field. I was working as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities. My brother informed me about the job opening at Spica and asked whether I was interested. I gave it a try and couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity.

Q: How would you describe your typical day at Spica? 

ZM: My day starts with responding to emails. Then I look at my calendar to see if I have any upcoming meetings. If not, I normally spend the morning working on recruitment and any outstanding HR tasks. In the afternoon, I focus on marketing tasks; if I’m writing a blog, I brainstorm ideas. After that, I like to go over the social media schedule and prioritise any posts that need to be designed. 

CW: My daily routine begins with a quick look at my calendar to see whether I have any scheduled meetings. The next thing I do is check Jira to see if I have any tasks assigned for the day. My meetings are often scheduled in the afternoon, allowing me to get a head start on my workday in the morning. 

RE: I would check my emails and tickets that needed to be responded to as soon as I start work. At half past nine, we have our team meeting to go over our duties for the day and see if anyone needs help. We have a fantastic team and if I ever need assistance, I can go to anyone, and everyone at Spica is always willing to assist me. We hold weekly meetings for ticket review, to discuss if you have any concerns or difficulty understanding it that makes work easier. 

Q: How were the first few months at Spica so far? Did you face any challenges at work? 

ZM: My first month at Spica was insightful. Not only did I learn about my role, but also learned about the business and its products. I got to meet the team at Summer Social which happened after a month I joined, and it was amazing to meet the team. I found everyone at Spica welcoming and helpful. Especially my manager Gem, who was friendly and supportive in settling me down. 

Spica provides its employees with exceptional flexibility, which is the best aspect of any organisation. I began working part-time while finishing my dissertation, which is rather unusual in the UK since employers do not typically recruit students. 

When I joined Spica, I was simultaneously working on my dissertation, so time management was a challenge at the start. Furthermore, I had to adapt to a new working environment and culture because I had no prior working experience in the UK, but everyone at Spica was welcoming.

CW: My first few months at Spica had been really positive. I happened to start right before the Spica summer social, so I got to meet the whole Spica team. The openness to having me start on a part-time basis while I complete my dissertation which is uncommon in other firms. 

In terms of challenges, hmmm this is a good question! There weren’t any difficulties, although it required some time to configure my laptop with the correct development settings before I could begin working on software, which always takes longer than expected. Basically, I spent the first month working on it (bear in mind I was working part-time at that moment). The team at Spica was quite helpful throughout the process which is greatly appreciated.

RE: It has been great so far. I had some difficulty getting started because everything was new to me, and I was not familiar with the process initially. However, my team was supportive made certain that I understood the procedure and encouraged me throughout if I need any more support. 

Q: How did you find the recruitment process?

ZM: To be honest, it was very straightforward and quick. In comparison to other organisations, which often have a one to two months hiring process, it only took 2 weeks. The recruiting manager reached out to me on LinkedIn, and I was then invited to an online interview the following week. It went well. I was then invited to the office for a second interview with the CEO and recruiting manager, both of whom seemed friendly, and the interview process was very candid which I did appreciate. 

CW: Oh, that seems like a long time ago! I recall having an informal introduction call with one of the senior software engineers. The recruitment process, which is unique to Spica, having a one-to-one first interview call with just another software engineer, not a team leader, who was in the same position I was interviewing for, gave me the impression that I was going to join a group of like-minded people. 

RE: It was relatively straightforward and simple. It was briefly outlined to me what my role and responsibilities would include. The onboarding process was streamlined thanks to the HR at Spica.

Q: What do you like doing in your spare time? 

ZM: In my leisure time, I like cooking and socialising with my friends. Also, I am comparatively new to the UK (arrived nearly a year ago) I do like to go out on day trips to explore different parts of the country.  

RE: I have a passion for health and fitness and enjoy going to the gym. I’m also currently doing my bachelor’s degree. Most importantly, I have a nine-year-old boy with whom I spend most of my time. Work, studying and having a kid, keeps me occupied! 

CW: There are so many things to list; I enjoy exercise, hiking and rock concerts. I adore travelling, I just recently travelled to Riga. 

A huge thank you to Zoya, Cameron and Richard for taking part in this interview.

If you are seeking a new challenge in your career and are interested in working for a developing and innovative firm, we would like to hear from you.

If you are interested in applying for vacancies at Spica visit our careers page.

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