It was the scale of the organisation and the early stage that most product teams are at in their digital transformation journey that attracted Nayana Shetty to work at the LEGO Group. She joined us as our Principal Engineer in November 2021 and is based in our London Hub in the UK. She relishes the freedom she has to focus on technical leadership. And, as she explains, there is a lot to love about this part of our business:
“Right now, I’m getting to grips with a variety of interesting engineering challenges. In my previous role at another company, I felt too thinly spread between tech leadership and people management. I often felt torn between the two. This role has given me an opportunity to focus on the strategic thinking and end-to-end architecture that tech leadership demands while challenging my people skills through indirect leadership.
Markets & Channels Technology
“My role sits within Markets and Channels Technology. Essentially, this covers the LEGO.com side of things and the B2B partner experience. The latter is my main area of responsibility while my counterpart deals with the other.
“As my career has progressed, I’ve had opportunities to gain hands-on experience working on infrastructure in DevOps engineering roles, as well as back end and very little front-end engineering. My role enables me to get involved in a range of different initiatives that span across these three areas, which makes use of my experience to date and keeps things very varied.
Focus areas for a Principal Engineer
“In some organisations, Principal Engineers are seen as individual contributors which usually means they end up as a ‘supercharged’ engineer who writes a lot more code. Whereas here, I split my time across three main areas. This means I have a tactical role in supporting teams, engineering leads and delivery leads in shaping their architecture in line with the broader end-to-end architecture across the organisation. But I also have a wider, long-term strategic focus which covers technical strategy for the whole organisation, in collaboration with other principal engineers. In terms of leadership, I help to act as a role model and nudge the engineering culture in Digital Technology at the LEGO Group to innovate at pace and enable continuous business success.
Harness the power of real freedom
“There's a real freedom here to shape our roles as we see fit. That’s typical of the LEGO Group, you feel empowered to get on and do. There is real trust. I also feel as though we can have influence and we do make an impact. This could be at any level, from a Digital Technology-wide impact down to a product team itself.
“While there is a lot to like about this role, it does come with some challenges. It is tempting to do a lot of tactical work that has immediate feedback, but our skills are best used working on initiatives that would impact the teams and the organisation long term. This means active prioritisation is key. As the organisation is going through this digital transformation, we need to navigate complex business initiatives and conflicts across different parts of the engineering and product organisations. Keeping ourselves up to date with technology and engineering practices with as much hands on experience is also important. Finding the time to learn and develop our own skills is hard but again it comes down to prioritization.
Early stages of Digital Transformation
“The fact that we’re still at a relatively early stage of maturity across the organization means there are a lot of opportunities to have a significant impact on the architecture, engineering practices and processes. That’s really important and highly motivating for me.”
We are hiring for our third Principal Engineer in the Marketing and Channels Technology organisation. This person will start in the Marketing Engagement area. The long-term vision, however, is that the three principal engineers in the department should be able to rotate the areas we work in within Marketing and Channels Technology, which means we get a broader experience, wider exposure. Which is great.
At the LEGO Group we are building a digital world. Imagine being part of that! Then come and build your career with us. 🌍