Caitlin Smitherim, Senior Software Developer

What attracted you to working at Secret Escapes? I really liked the people interviewing me., the CTO set up a meeting with me after the initial recruitment day of interviews and we discussed some of my questions.

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What did you dream of being when you were growing up and why?

I wanted to become a virologist and discover the cure for Aids! When I was in junior school I saw a high school student’s biology notes about viruses – I thought it looked fascinating. Then I discovered you had to study for 7 years of medicine and some before you could even think about doing anything remarkable in the field and I decided Chemical Engineering would be a better option

 

What was your first week at Secret Escapes like?

It was friendly and relaxed, while still being busy and engaging. It consisted of being shown around the office, discovering where everything in the kitchen was (very important!), setting up my dev machine with all the tools and code and going to meetings to get an idea of what the teams in Technology were about.

 

What attracted you to working at Secret Escapes?

I really liked the people interviewing me., the CTO set up a meeting with me after the initial recruitment day of interviews and we discussed some of my questions regarding being a Java Developer moving to a Grails environment and what I hoped to achieve in my career in the future. He went through the Tech Team’s guiding principles and how he came about writing them, and I thought they were something to really aspire to. The head of HR, also set up a phone call with me to discuss my initial concerns about being a new mom returning to work for a new job after a year’s maternity leave and her attitude and plans for Secret Escapes’ employees closed the deal for me.

 

How did you find the recruitment process at Secret Escapes?

I thought it was clear and efficient. I was always kept in the loop with how things were moving along, and the decision making process from their side was really quick, while they remained patient with me as I took my time assessing if it was the best position for me.

 

What has been your best memory so far?

I thoroughly enjoyed the No Secrets lunch with the founders, Alex Saint and Tom Valentine. They are such great characters, so it was entertaining hearing their answers to the various questions people posed.

 

What makes Secret Escapes different to where you have worked before?

I’ve worked in Tech teams before where they claim to follow Agile practices, but the reality is very different. Secret Escapes sticks to their word and releases many times a day, with a strong Test First approach. And Hackdays really do happen, as promised, every two weeks! Plus, the free food in the kitchen is amazing – never go hungry through meetings or intense coding sprints again!

 

Finally …. What has been your favourite holiday destination and why?

Ponto Do Ouro in Mozambique. It was where my now husband proposed to me on the beach in the moonlight, and where we swam with dolphins the next day. Truly unforgettable!