Markel International

Senior Software Developer/Team Lead

The Company

Markel are are a very traditional insurer with all the associated organisational complexity, regulation and compliance you would expect.

Our team

Our team breaks the mould and operates in a fast paced, innovative and continuously improving way. The team, and those leading it, have made great strides in trying to bring lean and agile thinking to an organistaion that traditionally does not work this way. There is still a long way to go but our achievements so far have been remarkable, in fact we have been recognised for this when we were runners up in the Spark the Change award.

We successfully delivered the Broker portal and rolled it out in Canada - on time and on budget.

We succesfully delivered the new CMS for the UK direct channel - again on time and on budget.

We are on track to deliver the new UK direct channel in July 2016.

We have transformed the relationship between the various business areas and IT - we are no longer a blocker, on the contrary we have become an engine for innovation. We hold regular hackthons, lunch & learns and have introduced communities of practise covering Busienss Analysis, Development, DevOps culture and Lean portfolio management.

My role has been to work with the tech teads from ThoughtWorks to understand the technical and stategic direction for the project, taking over the internal technical leadership as the ThoughWorks team gradually rolls off the project. This included:

  • Hands-on development in a 100% pair-programming environment
  • Leading/Participating in cross-functional feature level planning and story kick-off sessions
  • Leading/Participating in bi-weekly retrospectives and other ad-hoc continuous improvement initiatives
  • Close collaboration with other roles within the team to continuously push new features to live.
  • Running regular hackathons/lunch and learn sessions

The Technologies

  • RESTful micro-services architecture
  • C#, NancyFX, Dapper, nUnit
  • Javascript, AngularJS, Protractor, Chai, Mocha, Require.Js, Grunt etc.
  • GoLang, NodeJS for more recent services
  • Episerver for the CMS
  • TeamCity, Octopus deploy, Powershell, Chef
  • Selenium webdriver
  • CI/CD using TeamCity, Octopus Deploy, Chef, Powershell
  • Raygun and ELK stack

What is important to our team

  • Cross-functional team - multiple diciplines collaborate closely on the delivery of each story
  • Mobile first
  • Responsive
  • AA compliant
  • CD - Multiple deployments each day
  • Ployglot development - while the services are primarily in C# using NancyFx. we have recently deployed servies in Go and NodeJS