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Careers, Guest Post, Hiring, Interviews, Tech | | 3 min read

Bhavik Sutha

Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do? What’s your job role?

I’m an Electronics Engineer by degree and a Software Engineer by profession. I’m currently a Software Development Manager at Tesco in the payments platform. Having spent 20 years in various industries like hospitality, gaming, payments and now retail, I’ve faced and enjoyed many technical and management challenges. These include everything from hiring and team upskilling to managing the balance between technical excellence and value expectations.

What inspired you to pursue a career as a Software Development Manager and how did you get started?

After working for a few years as Senior Software Engineer, I gained experience in managing not only technical stuff but also non-technical stakeholders, delivery road maps and prioritisation techniques. I eventually realised that I enjoy solving problems and that doesn’t mean writing code only. So, I pursued a path where I could position myself in a technical capacity and be central to the problem solving. And I eventually discovered engineering manager and software development manager roles at Tesco.

What’s been your biggest achievement while working at Tesco? And how did it come about?

My team manages our customers’ card data security and we leverage Hardware Security Modules (HSM) heavily to achieve that. We recently embarked on a journey to replacing the old HSMs and ran through a rigorous Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The speed and excellence at which this work was handled involving multiple technical and non-technical teams was an eye-opening experience. The collaboration culture and happy-to-help attitude at Tesco is amazing.

What challenges have you faced in your career and how have you overcome them?

As an SDM, you’re always multi-tasking. You could be focusing on technical guidance, steering the team, priority negotiation and managing a team member’s career aspirations and learning needs – all in the same day. Those challenges are big opportunities for any manager to hone skills and make a good impact on business outcomes. I regularly attend meetups, seminars and listen to other leaders at Tesco or from the wider tech community and derive my own path based on the advice they share.

How do you stay motivated and continue to grow in your career?

I envision a state of future and apply the reverse engineering from that point to where I am right now. This method has always helped me to identify gaps in my skillset and navigate difficult situations to help achieve that vision. It also gives me a clear line of action and motivation to learn. I believe if I keep doing this at Tesco, my career growth will take care of itself. After all, it’s a vast business and there’s plenty of opportunities to grow.

What’s the best thing about working for Tesco?

There are lots of opportunities to work on interesting technical challenges at Tesco. Coupled with the fact that whatever you do here has direct impact on our customers’ experience makes it one of the best places I’ve worked.

What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share with others who may be at a similar stage in their career?

Know your systems, product and team capacity, and always look for opportunities where you can help other business functions. The learning you get from charting that unknown territory will be invaluable.

How does Tesco encourage and support diversity and inclusivity across the tech teams?

D&I is embedded from the very first stage of hiring and the process eliminates any potential biases by having a combined view and decision making on hiring. I believe this then filters down to having a very diverse and inclusive culture. One of our values is “Treat people the way they want to be treated”. I think this speaks volumes about how much D&I is valued at Tesco.