Lorena started teaching herself to code three years ago, while on maternity leave. She grew up in Romania, where she and her husband set up and ran a gym. When they moved to London in 2016, her qualifications in Sports Science weren’t recognised. Her response? Training as a fitness instructor and working her way up from receptionist to personal trainer and later fitness manager for a London gym.
Eager for a new challenge, she turned her attention to technology, having developed several small apps in her spare time. “I wanted to embrace tech as a career and be a part of creating the future” she says. “Every day you learn something new, and that means you never stop growing.”
Since joining Starling, she’s worked on improving the customer experience of depositing cheques through the app and also the chargeback process journey. Chargebacks act as a fallback when a customer has done all they can to resolve a refund issue with a merchant.
Lorena loves how much time her work can save customers and colleagues. “When I built an automated calculation for cheques, a colleague said to me: ‘Do you know what you’ve done? You’ve saved me two minutes per customer.’” If you add up the number of cheques and customers, those two minutes can turn into hours and days saved.
She also loves being part of Team Starling because of the way we work. “We deploy code every day. And our work reaches human beings,” she says. “Your ideas are valued and people trust you to bring those ideas to life.”
Nelson, 31, is a footballer turned software engineer. In 2009, he moved from Lisbon to London to study and secured a role in technology after graduating. When he came across Starling in 2017, he already had several years of experience and was eager for something new. “Starling stood out as the company I wanted to work for. I was inspired by what Anne Boden as CEO had built. And I liked the brand,” he says.
“In the first week that I joined, I made a change that went live into production. I’d never experienced that before. In other places, it would take months to get one simple feature live to customers.” When Starling launched in app stores in 2017, Nelson was two weeks into his new role. “Anne did a count down and when she got to zero, someone pressed a button and voilà, we were live.”