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Meet our Software Engineer, Alicia Merlino

What do you do at Beacon?

I’m currently working as a Frontend Engineer building out  Beacon’s new booking management platform which will be used by our operations team. As the business grows, it’s really important that the process for managing customer bookings is streamlined and scales with the company’s growth. I joined Beacon at an exciting time because I’m helping to start the team so I have the opportunity to decide the direction, both on the technical and non-technical side. Together, with 1 other front end engineer we have complete autonomy to choose the tech stack from the ground up. I appreciate working for a company that empowers its employees to make responsible decisions and this is a great opportunity for me to grow as an engineer.

What did you do prior to Beacon?

I worked as a Pharmacist in Australia. I worked in community pharmacies for 6 years and through this I gained an appreciation of how important it is to be customer focussed. When I moved to London in 2019 I decided to join a Code First Girls introduction to web development course to explore coding. The course piqued my interest, so I continued coding by learning Python. Eventually I realised that I wanted to make the leap to being a full time software engineer and discovered Makers bootcamp who taught me the fundamentals of engineering.

Tell us more about your experience at Makers.

I initially chose Makers because I liked their approach of ‘learn by doing’, daily pair programming and the opportunity to show off your new skills at the end of course demo day. In addition I was impressed by the level of support they provide their students through mentorship, careers coaching and the emotional intelligence program (I previously worked as a mental health pharmacist so this is something I value).

Why did you decide to join Beacon?

When Pierre (CTO) spoke about Beacon at the Makers careers fair, the main comment that resonated with me was him saying Beacon aims to completely change how businesses trade around the world and shake up the freight industry, an industry where the full potential of technology hasn’t been reached. A key driver for me switching careers was the potential new software can have in different industries and so I was excited to work with a company with goals that align with my own. 

What do you like about working at Beacon?

I’m impressed that Beacon’s first cultural value is “Always customer obsessed’. My experience in pharmacy was always the same and something I wish to carry on doing. I was also interested in joining a startup because I wanted the opportunity to build things from the ground up, be challenged while also working closely with experienced engineers – I definitely learn best by being thrown in the deep end.

I’m really lucky to have a mentor at Beacon who I work closely with and we’re both building the new frontend experience for the operational platform our team uses to organise shipments. I feel very supported at Beacon. I have weekly chats with my manager, bi-monthly catch ups with Pierre, our CTO, and other members of my team have helped me settle into the role by scheduling calls to meet each other and check in with how I’m going which has really eased the pain of onboarding remotely.

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