The Sky’s the Limit: Architecting at IAG Loyalty

Feb 02, 2023
hackajob Staff

For over 30 years, IAG Loyalty – part of International Airline Group – has been pioneering loyalty and offering businesses and airlines alike new ways to attract customers. With the Avios currency, they’ve grown their member base to more than 40 million collectors, utilising tech and data to provide users with some of the world’s most rewarding experiences. So what’s helped them in creating such an iconic loyalty currency and seamless customer experience? And how could you join their team? Keep reading to discover the world of IAG Loyalty.

Meet Lakshmi!

Lakshmi – a Solutions Architect – started at IAG Loyalty in 2021. Having worked as a Software Engineer, Consultant and Solutions Architect during her 15 years of experience, Lakshmi certainly knows a thing or two about building successful tech teams and would describe herself as a tech enthusiast. Her passion for using various technologies led her towards system design and she currently nurtures this interest as a Solutions Architect at IAG Loyalty. She’s been working on an Avios redemption platform that has been built from scratch. Let’s find out more about what it’s like to work there and what types of projects you could experience directly from Lakshmi!

1. There’s never a dull moment working at IAG Loyalty as an engineer

What I love about tech is that it keeps evolving, it never stays the same. In just the past 10-15 years, we’ve seen mind-blowing transformations across the world of tech but especially at IAG Loyalty. Originally, companies may have started with a technology that was managed in-house, but now we have shifted toward a platform as a service, which is a complete game changer!

Being a company that’s at the forefront of providing loyalty solutions, we are always looking at building the product to suit the business needs, and equally, be a market leader with our wide range of loyalty product offerings built on cloud technologies using cutting-edge tools.

"It’s great that we get to experiment with a lot of products. For example, what we’re building now is completely cloud-based systems using tools within AWS be it containerised technologies or serverless technologies. We like to experiment and we’re proud that we’ve built a platform that is completely on the Cloud."

2. The Product team are always working on exciting releases

I joined IAG Loyalty to be part of a product team focused on how we help our customers redeem Avios across multiple products such as car hire, experiences or even booking flights. So, when I joined, the problem statement was to replace a legacy system built on outdated technology and platforms that weren't really fit for purpose. It was hefty, costly to maintain and customer satisfaction wasn’t where we wanted it to be. We had the opportunity to bring everything in-house (a huge benefit because we understood the needs of the business and could control what was required).

To give a brief overview of the process: we started by looking at what we needed to build and asked questions. Where would we build it? Would we use cloud hosting solutions? If so, how do we connect to these external suppliers? Would we use restful APIs to do that? What are the building blocks we’d use? What’s the information flow and what are the security and legal requirements? Once we’d put together guidelines as to how the whole team would build this and the tech we’d use, it started to take shape. At the forefront of this was to apply the principles of Well-Architected framework to ensure the platform is reliable, secure, and could scale. Thankfully, it’s been a huge success and we’re growing this as a strategic product with continuous delivery of new features.

3. Their tech stack is up-to-date and easy to use

With a vision for the platform to provide an Omnichannel customer experience across channels like desktop, tablet and mobile app, it's also an enabler for partner integrations using our API’s directly. We have chosen technologies to fit our needs, and that provide flexibility to scale and adapt. Be it the adoption of React and Styled components for our white label websites, the use of Java, NodeJS, Springboot technologies for our backend microservices or SQS, SNS for event-driven processes.  We have used it all! We’ve built designs and services such that they are reusable across all channels.

The customer journey on the platform is researched, tested, and designed before being put to build. Similarly, our services adopt an API-first, design-first approach to provide a well-designed, high-quality API to drive better developer and partner experience. Much more than this – we have also adopted the DevSecOps framework for our agile development process using tools to go with Continuous Integration and Deployment ensuring high-quality secure code is shipped with every new feature and enhancement. Hope this gives just an insight of our tools and processes – there really is a lot more we work with!

4. IAG Loyalty doesn’t just talk about values, they live them daily

When I think about our IAG Loyalty values, two stand out to me the most – Passion and Agility. Being agile is the way the industry works and I think we do it very well here; we are extremely adaptable to the needs of our customers and we have to be very quick with ideas and innovating in the market. I really value agility and implement it daily, be it in terms of the way I approach designing systems to changing processes, to architecting to building. Continuous small improvements driven by a vision ultimately leads to the big picture.

Passion is equally important to me. I love travelling and have observed how the travel industry has transformed with the adoption of technology over the years to solve challenges and improve customer experience. I bring this passion to solve real problems that can make an immense difference to drive value. With IAGL, no idea is off the table. You will always be listened to.

5. Culture is king

Even though I was familiar with Avios the leading loyalty currency owned and run by IAG Loyaltybefore joining the team, when the opportunity to join came my way I dug around a bit to find out more about the company and I was really surprised by their passion. They are the loyalty providers for the four major airlines and with a large member base, it’s imperative that they put members at the forefront of the solutions they create. I liked that and was even more pleasantly surprised when I joined.

The culture here at IAG Loyalty is really open and I love that everyone is so approachable and friendly. I’ve seen this from day one when I joined by remote working due to Covid. My onboarding was great, and the team made me comfortable. It didn’t feel like I’d joined during the middle of a pandemic as everyone pitched in and showed me the ropes.

In just 18 months of being here, I’ve gotten involved in a lot and received support from many teams. It’s also a draw that the leadership team communicates with us and how they’re keeping up with the industry too. To sum it up: friendly people, clear communication and a real passion for the work that we do. Plus we get very good travel perks. I love it!

For anybody looking to join the team, just know that it really is a lovely company to work for. We get to explore varied technologies, new ways of working, and we’re always open-minded to try new things. So if there are any tech enthusiasts looking for your next challenge, this is the place for you!

And that’s it!

There’s so much more that you’ll love about being an engineer at IAG Loyalty. If you haven’t already, make sure to create a profile on the hackajob platform, where they’re currently hiring for a variety of roles or log in to your profile here.

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