Andy, Head of Engineering (Insurance Products) – Getsafe People

Little ego and no fear of making mistakes: How Andy builds technology that makes insurance easier for everyone

4 minute read2021-01-21
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Andy, how did you end up doing what you do?

I’ve always enjoyed building things. Constructing something in a virtual environment is fascinating because it’s like an extra dimension to the real world. I can create anything you can imagine, with nothing more than a laptop and possibly an internet connection. The possibilities are virtually endless.

What’s the best part about your job?

When I can make life easier for others. This is often doubly rewarding, as I’m usually improving things for our customers by developing a good product. But we also simplify all processes for the team and minimize unnecessary work. Another great thing about being a developer is that if you solve issues right away, you can have a big impact on the business. On the other hand, if you solve a problem badly, you can actually create more problems! However, the people at Getsafe are the real highlight!

What kind of team are you?

We always conduct ourselves responsibly. However, we never miss out on the fun. We don’t have any big egos, and we always pull together to get the job done. We’re a well-balanced team that functions exceptionally well. That’s something I really appreciate.

Why did you choose Getsafe?

Before I started at Getsafe at the beginning of 2019, I worked for a software agency for six years. After travelling the world, I was looking for a cool job as a Ruby Developer. As a startup, Getsafe provided me with a great platform to excel. At that time, it was important for me to work on a big project, which often isn’t the case at an agency. I wanted to help with the evolution of a product and really have an impact. In these situations, I learn a lot. Fortunately it worked out – I grew with the product. When I build something now and see that it works, I really feel I’m contributing to making insurance more simple!

You mentioned travelling the world?

My girlfriend and I travelled through America and then through Asia. Before embarking on this adventure, I had a very rational view of the world. Visiting a Buddist temple changed this somewhat and made two things clear to me. Firstly, you can control how you perceive the world. Secondly, you should enjoy the world as it is.

What would you advise someone who wants to work as a developer, and what should they avoid?

Wasps (laughs)! I always laugh when two of my colleagues suddenly jump up when eating and then run away.

But on a serious note, there are three essential things for working in the field. We’re problem solvers. To find fitting solutions, you first have to understand the issue – and quickly. Also, the technologies we work with evolve incredibly quickly. That’s why a good developer must always be willing to learn. Last but not least, you should also feel comfortable making mistakes. They’re inevitable!

How do you handle mistakes?

I see mistakes as an opportunity to learn and make things better. They’re part of the job and I don’t see them as a personal failure. When they happen, I try to find out what the cause was, why it happened, and then rectify the issue to solve the problem for the long term.

That’s a great quality to have. What’s your worst?

Some people occasionally say that I’m too negative. For example, I don’t like deadlines one bit. If I’m given one, I say: “No, we’re not going to make that. We need longer.” I always prefer to look forward rather than back. This enables me to see challenges rather than what we’ve already achieved. My perfectionism often comes across as pessimism. But I’m very eager to implement what Getsafe has planned, I’m confident about the future, and I’m looking forward to what it holds.

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Author: Carina