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Working in tech at Starling



Some Starling software engineers

Team Starling is made up of people from all walks of life. Here, we talk to three Starling team members about what they love about their work.

Saff Soobratty

“What’s really interesting about Starling is that we build everything from scratch,” says software developer Saff Soobratty, part of the Starling Banking Services team. “We create direct integrations with payment systems like Faster Payments, which means that other FinTechs can cut their engineering costs.” Saff, 32, started at Starling’s London office in 2019.

“We still have the culture of a start-up. We have autonomy, there aren’t a lot of processes and when something doesn’t work, there isn’t a culture of blame. Our approach is to fix it, learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Saff Soobratty is part of the Starling Banking Services team
Saff Soobratty is part of the Starling Banking Services team

Saff studied Computer Science at university after spending a year at college doing IT. “I liked that it wouldn’t be tied to one specific company. It’s almost like a trade, something I can take with me wherever I go.”

Reshma Pinto

For software developer Reshma Pinto, the best part of working at Starling is the way everyone works together. “I like that we’re a cross-functional team made up of platform engineers, app engineers and designers. We collaborate in shaping the features we’re working on and putting them through all the testing phases. This collective way of working feels very effective.”

Reshma, 38, previously worked on apps in the gaming industry. “As a team leader there, I didn’t get many opportunities to be hands-on. I’m an engineer at my core, which is what motivated me to start looking elsewhere,” she says.

Reshma Pinto is an app engineer
Reshma Pinto is an app engineer

She joined in May 2020, two months into the national lockdown. “As a working parent, I was anxious about how things would work with my kids being homeschooled,” she says.

“But I got really amazing support on flexible working from my manager and team leads. They checked that things were okay at home and made sure I wasn’t juggling too much. When you go through tough times and get that support - that’s what shows how supportive and empathetic the culture is.”

Reshma, who is based in London, first learned to code through her degree in Electronic Engineering, but has mainly taught herself or learned on the job. “During the interview process for Starling, I found that working on both iOS and Android was encouraged, which I was really interested in.”

Since joining, she’s worked on both our iOS and Android apps, mainly as part of the team designing and improving the process of applying for a new Starling account.

David Sullivan

When David Sullivan decided to study Astronomy, he never imagined he’d end up working for a bank. “It doesn’t feel like you’re working at a bank,” says David, a software engineer and data scientist at Starling.

“As a tech company, we make small changes to production every day. We’re also given a lot of breathing space and flexibility. We can explore different approaches and fail some of the time, before we arrive at a solution. When I left academia, I thought I would lose that freedom. But with Starling, I haven’t.”

David Sullivan is part of Starling’s data science team
David Sullivan is part of Starling’s data science team

David, 31, did his PhD on the formation of galaxies. He went on to work as a data scientist and developer for a company focused on preventing copyright infringement. He joined Starling’s data science team in 2020 and is based in our Cardiff office.

“Our team helps the bank make better data-driven decisions,” he says. “For example, with cheque imaging, we use machine learning to match the amount handwritten on the cheque with the details the customer has typed.”