Real life at Austin Fraser (part one)

A lot of organisations talk the talk. But, at Austin Fraser, we also walk the walk. In other words, when we say life’s good at our business, it’s not just sales blurb – we’ve got facts and figures to prove it – and that’s why we’ve won ‘OpenCompany’ status from recruitment website, Glassdoor. We’re sharing this in a two-part blog, so you can get an insight about what life is like at Austin Fraser.
Let’s start with something fairly basic and fundamental: your pay.
If you compare us to similar businesses, you’ll find our salaries are pretty competitive. We keep an eye on the rest of the industry and review them regularly. What’s more, they come with a range of benefits that are the equivalent of up to 35% extra value on top of your pay.
And speaking of our international offices, there are seven in total – which you could transfer to thanks to our relocation package. You’ll find us in Reading, UK; Hamburg, Munich and Berlin, Germany; and Austin, Denver and Dallas in the USA. Excitingly, there are two more sites coming soon: San Diego (October 2019) and LA (2020). Each site is in a great location in the heart of the city. Go inside, and you’ll find an attractive, modern environment, with great facilities. We’re talking open spaces for collaboration and state of the art tech with dedicated break-out zones. Everything you need to excel and achieve on your terms.

Working remotely is also a reality, thanks to our hi-spec technology. Everyone has a MacBook, whatever their level of seniority. We’re always looking at ways to improve the kit we provide too. As tech evolves, we’re investing in new developments that benefit our staff. 
However, there’s no point in helping people perform at their best if there’s no way for them to progress. We take your development as seriously as you do and make sure you know how you can advance. That’s why our career paths are as clear-cut and transparent as they get. You can see how your role can evolve – and how much you can earn – right from your very first day. Plus, we’ll make sure you have the Learning & Development to build your skills so you can get yourself promoted. This is an aspect of life at Austin Fraser that stands out in the industry. We believe in giving people the support to get where they want along with the freedom to plan their journey. Our end to end training includes modules for new starters, managers and senior managers. What’s more, learning is simply a part of our culture, so it’s considered perfectly normal to take time out for training.
So that’s the important, practical stuff. But life here is about so much more than that. Stay tuned for the second part of this blog, where we’ll tell you why people like working here so much – the warm and fuzzy stuff!

Managing Quality at Scale in the Age of Digital Transformation: three top tech minds reveal all at Leaders in Tech | Denver.

Leaders in Tech was designed to give senior industry figures the chance to explore the latest tech thinking among their peers. Denver’s second Leaders in Tech event didn’t disappoint. The event featured three distinguished guest speakers who each gave their take on Managing Quality at Scale in the Age of Digital Transformation. First up was Angus Robertson, CMO at Axcient. 
Angus’s topic was Creating a Product and Distribution Flywheel. He explained how his company created sales momentum by taking a different approach to the buyer journey. By identifying customers’ friction and engagement points, and getting the Product team involved, he and his team were able to constantly refine the buyer experience, creating products which customers loved and recommended. Having a full understanding of a changing product market meant Axcient could adapt and continue to provide quality at scale.

Next, was Dave Hanna, VP of Technology at Oppenheimer Funds. His specialist subject was a ‘Paint by Numbers’ Approach to Digital Transformation. Dave described a technique of creating a ‘tech template’ for a business, which can then be filled through a series of logical, consultative steps – to create a masterpiece!
Finally, Netflix’s Director of Engineering, Brian Buege, took the floor. The title of his talk was The Last 10-Feet; the Netflix Approach to Managing Quality at Scale. Brian described how a business such as Netflix – which has 150 million subscribers and accounts for 15% of internet traffic – actually works. He also explained how Netflix achieves quality by “assuming everything is always going to break”. With that in mind, Netflix has ‘Chaos Engineering’, whose job it is to break everything during production – which is how Netflix make sure all its systems are as resilient as possible. That was just one aspect of a complex operation, which delivers around 90 terabits per second.  

Along with some fascinating tech insight, our leaders enjoyed great food and refreshments, plus the chance to catch up with Denver’s tech community. We can’t wait to do it all again, so keep an eye on our site for details! 
Leaders in Tech is a chance to connect with fellow technology leaders from both new and established innovative businesses, share best practice, discuss up-and-coming advances and generally connect with like-minded individuals. 

Leaders in Tech | Austin: six experts get to grips with #AI

AI is one of the hottest topics in the tech world right now. And as AI evolves, so do the issues and questions that surround its application and implementation. Our latest Leaders In Tech Austin event gave the area’s CTOs, CIOs and senior tech figures the chance to discuss the latest thinking and find out how to make the most of AI within their organizations.
The community event was entitled The Convergence of AI; Practical Scaling and involved six panelists. Each one brought very different viewpoints and experience gained at the cutting-edge of very different fields. They included Allyson Jacobson, Global Marketing Director, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence at GE Healthcare; Andy Terrel, Chief Data Scientist at REX; Robert Welborn, Director of Data and Data Science at General Motors; Seshu Vavilikolanu, Senior Director of Engineering at Phunware; Whurley, CEO of Strangeworks; and Katrina Riehl, Head of Data Science at Cloudflare, Inc. (who kindly hosted the meet-up). Our moderator for the evening was Nicole Hartings, VP of Technical Development Management, Automation and Artificial Intelligence at State Street.
The first subjects covered were the convergence of AI and other technologies; how AI affects your company; and the differences between those embracing AI and those who don’t. The audience was super-engaged right from the start and there were plenty of questions from the floor. Our panelists then moved onto new topics: making AI practical at scale, the current industry climate and future visions. Again, our 30+ tech leaders had plenty to say – which seemed to give them all quite an appetite! Happily, there were drinks and delicious dishes on offer over at the buffet. The proof’s on Instagram Stories!

As the evening drew to a close, a number of key points emerged. It was noted that currently AI is still being programmed by humans, so that behind every algorithm, there are people making vital judgments. The panel also came to the consensus that Marketing is one of the places where AI has the potential to make the biggest impact – and that if you aren’t making data-driven decisions in 2019, you’re way behind the curve!
Though our guests were keen to talk on into the night, there came a point where we had to say goodbye. However, several panelists and audience members were inspired to volunteer for the next meet-up – so watch this space.
We can’t wait to organize the next event, so keep an eye on our site for details! It’s a chance to connect with fellow technology leaders from both new and established innovative businesses, share best practice, discuss up-and-coming advances and generally connect with like-minded individuals.

If you’d like to see what the evening was like for yourself, head over to Instagram Stories, where you’ll find pics and commentary from Community Manager, Mikaela Gallagher.