This post is the first in a new series interviewing members of our GoustoTech team. We start right at the top by interviewing our CTO, Shaun Pearce and over the coming weeks will interview a number of other members of our team.
Hi, my name is Shaun and I’m Gousto’s CTO. I’m responsible for all aspects of technology across our business. This of course includes our customer facing website and mobile apps but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg! Technology plays a crucial role all over Gousto. My team is also responsible for our bespoke order management system, internal tools supporting our customer care, marketing and recipe development teams as well as systems used to manage our supply chain, our warehouse and our automated pick lines.
I joined Gousto in the summer of 2015. Back then we were selling about 2500 boxes per week. But things move quickly at Gousto, my team are now designing pick systems capable of producing that many boxes per hour!
I’ve always been fascinated by technology. From an early age I was obsessed with learning to programme computers so it wasn’t a surprise when I decided to study computer science at university. After graduating I joined the technology consulting firm Accenture. It was a great way to gain experience, I worked as a software developer on a wide range of projects. My first job was to help develop the London Stock Exchange’s new trading platform. However, I soon discovered a real passion for the web and spent the majority of my career at Accenture working for media companies such as the BBC and Discovery Channel where I lead technology teams helping our clients to develop content management and VOD platforms.
During this time I discovered the advantages of cloud computing, and after a number of projects leading the design and implementation of web platforms on AWS I decided to join Amazon as an AWS Solutions Architect where I lead the UK retail practice. My job was to help UK retailers large and small architect their systems in a scalable, fault tolerant manner in the AWS cloud.
After 2 years at AWS helping retail customers to design and implement modern microservice platforms I was eager to find an opportunity to ‘practice what I preached’. I also loved food (at one point I planned to be a chef) and had become a Gousto customer back in 2014. I loved the concept, I felt Gousto was a great way for someone with a busy work schedule like me to cook delicious meals at home. After meeting Timo (Gousto’s founder and CEO) through my network I didn’t look back. It was a great opportunity to combine food and technology, 2 of my biggest passions in life. It’s been an amazing few years building a great team and some very cool tech!
The great thing about Gousto is that there’s always at least 5 exciting tech projects happening at any one time! My highlights have probably been some of the initial cloud architecture work we did to lay down the blueprint of our microservice platform. It was a great opportunity to take all of the learnings from the previous 2 years working at AWS and apply these to our own architecture at Gousto. Other highlights have been the release of our second generation front end stack using isomorphic React and the huge impact our data science team has had in writing genetic algorithms to optimise how our boxes are routed around our warehouse resulting in an 80% increase in throughput!
Every year I have worked at Gousto has been a transformational one. In 2015 we completely rearchitected our microservices platform. In 2016 we automated our end-to-end pick operation and in 2017 we grew customer choice by 140%, optimised our warehouse using machine learning and introduced our first personalised menu for customers. All of these proposition enhancements were introduced in an environment where we grew volume by an average of 260% per year.
2018 will be no different, we have big plans to continue to transform our offering and provide the best possible experience for our customers. The details of which I will have to keep a secret for the time being I’m afraid :)
We have big ambitious goals, we work hard to achieve them and we all support each other to be successful.
We’re a friendly, supportive and hugely ambitious team committed to transforming the way people plan, purchase and prepare food at home. Everyone at Gousto from our CEO down understands the role technology will play in meeting this goal and over the next few years this team will be designing, building and running the technology that will transform an industry. It’s going to be an amazing journey and we’d love you to join us!