28 September 2021
This month we introduce to you Will Morgan, our Head of Development. Will talks us through his career journey so far, recounts a day in the life of his role, and shares his biggest achievements at iProov.
Hi, Will! Can you tell us about your story so far—what came before iProov?
I started building websites as a teenager and built up a great network of friends as we all learned to write software. Although, it must be said that some of the people I encountered weren’t quite so friendly—a few of our sites were repeatedly hacked! It was a great learning experience though, and when you’re setting out with a self-built tech forum the stakes are much lower, so you can pick up a lot while having fun along the way.
I learned a huge amount about web technology and software in general—more than I could have got out of college. So I went into the industry full time at quite a young age, with freelancing paying the bills. This is how I met Joe Palmer—now the President of iProov Inc. We worked on some projects together before our paths diverged for a few years.
I then helped to run a web agency in my early twenties with friends, which was a formative experience. It provided a rich variety of opportunities and challenges, both on the tech and business side of things. It set me up with a lean and iterative mindset to development. The teams would take products from ideation into high quality, production grade deployments in under 100 days without compromising on quality, then carefully maintain and iterate as requirements emerged or the customer’s needs pivoted. I really appreciated the pure innovation and optimism there.
After 10 years and no university gap year, I took a month out to decide what to do next. I did consider trying to race bikes, but a series of crashes made me think again, although pedalling fast is a great way to clear the mind.
What brought you to iProov? What were your first impressions?
Joe reached out and asked if I was available to help extend and test part of an early iteration of iProov’s technology.
From the beginning, iProov was a welcome change from the caricature of startup life—no money wasted on ping pong tables; just a dozen or so really driven people focused on breaking new ground. That being said, I’d never worked at a place with a robotic vacuum cleaner that would crash into everyone’s chair on a Monday morning.
Given my background in smaller companies where people wear many hats, and recent experience in moving ‘good and fast’, things just clicked. It’s been five years and I’m still learning a lot from my colleagues here.
What does being Head of Development at iProov involve?
It’s a really diverse remit, touching most technical areas of the iProov system. I’m jointly responsible with the various tech leads and heads of department for how we build new things and maintain our services. These days I’m involved with web technologies, iPortal, our data warehouse, and security.
Team development is really important. As iProov has grown, it’s been very rewarding to see my teams develop and specialize in their areas, and do ever-cooler things that solve problems or improve a tangible metric. This allows me to spend more time looking at logs, dashboards, and encouraging people to experiment with novel technologies and techniques to improve the products.
Describe a day in the life of a Head of Development at iProov…
It’s fast-paced and no day is the same. A lot of time is spent context-sharing and brainstorming how things come together and work end to end through the iProov system. I’m spending a lot of time experimenting, researching and sharing findings with various people across the business, then gluing my eyes to a dashboard to see how things improve when that feature or patch is released.
It’s also important for an engineering team to be commercially informed—both in what the industry is doing, as well as understanding our existing customers’ integrations. There’s a lot of collaboration with our Product Team and our Customer Success Team. And then there’s hiring – the company is also growing, so recruitment. Lots of that.
What would you say is the most interesting aspect of your job?
Identifying the reasons behind a particular user action or behaviour is always a fun puzzle to solve. This could be anything from trying to troubleshoot a user experience issue during accessibility and usability improvement work, to analyzing an attempted attack on the system and watching the steps the attacker took before they gave up.
Hearing from our solutions consulting team on the potential new use cases for iProov is exciting, especially learning about other companies that we can partner with to combine technologies for a particular industry.
On a lighter note, it’s been hilarious reading fraudsters complain online about our customers moving to iProov because they know their game is over!
And how has iProov changed since you joined?
Besides the obvious growth and acquiring many happy customers, we’ve started to really fly the flag for our service and tell our story worldwide. We’ve become more self-assured but without the hubris.
One of our values at iProov is that we ‘achieve the remarkable’. What would you highlight as the most remarkable achievements of the Development team?
I have a fabulous and driven team. However, it’s actually three teams so here’s a remarkable achievement for each one:
If you feel inspired by Will’s journey and are interested in joining the iProov team, check out our current vacancies. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to keep updated with new openings. We are always looking for new talent.
And meet more of the iProov team below!