As the UK's number 1 homewares retailer, you've likely heard of Dunelm (and maybe even have some of their products in your home) but did you know that they're also leaders in technology, with a tech team of over 300 people? With over 5 million people visiting their website and stores annually, it's no surprise that technology is at the heart of what they do to deliver products the public loves. So how can you join the team, and what is it like working there? We get into the good, the great and the tech with Tom Hames, a full-stack developer at Dunelm.
Meet Tom Hames. He joined the world of tech in a non-traditional way. He has a degree in physiotherapy and a 7-year-long career in the same field. Tom got into tech by chance when creating his own website for physiotherapy but after realising how much he enjoyed coding, everything changed. Tom taught himself to code in the evenings and weekends, eventually landing his first job as a Software Engineer. Now, over 3 years since starting out, he's joined the team at Dunelm as a full-stack developer. Tom explains the top 5 ways of working at Dunelm that have made him the developer he is today.
1. Dunelm is serious about tech and has a vision for where they are going
After signing up to hackajob, a recruiter from Dunelm reached out to me and straightaway I was impressed by their enthusiasm, the plan for Dunelm's future and their technology department. Both my behavioural interview and the technical interview went well – partly due to the interviewers who were passionate and eager to explain more about Dunelm's ambitious plans, and the opportunities this creates for developers. After learning about their huge investment in modern technologies and their employees, it really appealed to me. I was fortunate enough to get an offer, which I accepted and never looked back.
2. You'll get to use the tech you're comfortable with, while trying your hand at something new
I've picked up a lot of new technologies working for Dunelm. I already knew React, but I got the opportunity to learn TypeScript and Node.JS for the back end alongside GraphQL and of course AWS. Dunelm uses a lot of AWS' serverless technologies such as Lambda, DynamoDB, and Eventbridge. I've been supported by my team to learn more about these, and I'm finding it really cool to get to grips with.
3. The work you do is satisfying and worthwhile
A recent highlight is how some of the work that I contributed to, helped our own team. The tech team at Dunelm solves problems internally and externally and that's really satisfying. For example, we have a contact centre to deal with any customer queries, and we wanted to make their jobs more efficient by automating some of the more manual processes. To do this we automated the creation of tax receipts; now instead of having to type in all of the information, they just click a button and they get a PDF. We've had some great feedback on how much of an effect it has had on their work and how it's transformed a 40-minute task into less than five minutes.
4. Dunelm has great benefits
Dunelm uses the latest technologies and gives you an opportunity to grow, but it's the culture that really stood out to me. It's really open and progressive, and the people are really friendly and supportive. They invest a lot in your learning and development and there are always funds available for courses, conferences, materials or whatever you need to continue developing. I like that there are really clear pathways for career progression, plus other huge benefits, like a yearly bonus, flexible and hybrid working and a good pension. All these things make such a huge difference when choosing your next career move.
5. They're growing – quickly
It's a perfect time to join us at Dunelm as we're having massive growth as a business and recruiting heavily, especially in the engineering department. Not only is Dunelm very supportive of your well-being but your personal development is also super important to them. So if you're looking for a challenge then join us! You'll get a lot of growth from working at Dunelm. We're also very flexible in terms of how you work and where you work. Plenty of developers want hybrid roles so I'd say apply and have a conversation, they're really open to it.
A special shoutout to ... hackajob!
(These words are all Tom's - we promise!) I'd like to give a special shoutout to hackajob as it was really easy to use. Somebody reached out to me from hackajob and even though I've never used anything like it before I found it so easy to set up a profile. It was also super quick for employers to reach out to me and a quick process from profile setup to landing a whole new job. I'd definitely recommend trying it!
And that's it!
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