The Very Group is undergoing a tech transformation.
Curious about their migration towards microservices? We sat down with David, a Senior Software Engineer at The Very Group, to uncover the daring motivations behind this move, the benefits it is bringing, and how it will unleash speed and agility.
Get ready to meet the DCX (Digital Customer Experience) Tribe, on a mission to revolutionise the way users experience The Very Group across platforms. Discover how customer recommendations, powered by machine learning algorithms, are improving user experience, and what it’s like to work at The Very Group. Let’s dive in!
When did you first realise that you wanted to pursue a career in tech?
It hit me like a lightning bolt while watching the Iron Man movies. Seeing how tech could be used for both good and evil, sparked something within me. It may be fiction, but it showed me the incredible potential of tech.
I dove headfirst into the world of computer science, from GCSE to university. I secured a placement at a tech company during my studies, and this experience really boosted my employability to new heights. I owe a lot to that stepping stone, and that’s how I ended up at The Very Group as a Senior Software Engineer.
If you're considering a career in computer science, don't miss out on placement opportunities. They can open doors to full-time jobs and give you a leg up in the industry. The Very Group offers fantastic placement and graduate programs that can launch your career.
Tell me more about the DCX tribe and the updates and upgrades you've been making?
While we aim to conquer the UK market, we're already making waves with our Discover squad, responsible for the most popular areas across all The Very Group’s brands. From the product listing page to search results, browsing categories, and even auto suggestions, we're enhancing the user experience.
Our recommendations feature is taking centre stage here. Powered by cutting-edge machine learning algorithms, we've partnered with Constructor to provide our customers with the most accurate and useful suggestions. Imagine effortlessly finding toothpaste when buying a toothbrush, making your shopping experience a breeze. It's the little things that make a big difference in the user’s shopping journey.
Over time, our recommendations will seamlessly integrate into every part of the customer journey, ensuring a consistent journey for every user. We've tackled challenges head-on, even when our micro frontend needed to be nested within another. Thanks to our innovative solutions, we've become the sole squad responsible for recommendations. Plus, our performance-driven team is obsessed with delivering top-notch backend and frontend experiences. We want to make every interaction visually stunning and fast.
And let's not forget the Recommendations API – we're constantly optimising and refining to perfection. By aggregating responses into a standardised format, our micro frontend effortlessly handles data from various suppliers, without missing a beat.
What motivated The Very Group to migrate towards microservices and micro front-ends?
We were driven by a relentless pursuit of a better customer experience. We wanted to make our site, more responsive and seamless. No more clunky transitions or limitations.
With microservices and micro frontends, we unleashed a new era of speed and agility. Our continuous integration and deployment pipelines are becoming faster, allowing us to squash issues quickly. Now, each squad increasingly has ownership over their deployments, pushing out fixes and features at lightning speed. When it came to micro-adjustments, we were also able to fine-tune services to improve response times, elevating our core web vitals to a whole new level.
We raised the bar, going from a good experience to an exceptional one, with a minimum baseline of 80%. That's not just a number, that's millions of satisfied users who get to enjoy a website that truly performs. This migration is our game-changer, and we're only just getting started.
Can you explain how machine learning and other advanced technologies are being used to enhance functionality and user experience?
Machine learning and other advanced technologies are revolutionising the way we tackle functionality and user experience issues. That's where Constructor comes in as a leader in discoverability. We don't settle for just recommendations; we are in the process of enhancing searching and browsing as well.
Over time, users will no longer have to worry about encountering random products appearing in their search results that have nothing to do with what they were actually looking for. Constructor's machine learning algorithms understands what our users want, and will deliver search results that truly matter.
How does The Very Group encourage its employees to explore and contribute to wider company initiatives beyond their specific squad?
At The Very Group, we don't just encourage collaboration – we wholeheartedly embrace it! We believe in fostering collaboration between squads, providing exposure to a wide range of opportunities. If you're looking to explore something new, no problem! The Very Group supports your growth and encourages you to contribute beyond your tribe.
We value being proactive and open-minded at The Very Group, welcoming everyone's ideas and feedback to create an exceptional user and colleague experience. Our environment promotes learning, knowledge sharing, and constant improvement. If you're ready to make an impact and be part of our migration journey, join us today!