My name's Sally Lait (you may have known me as Sally Jenkinson). It's pronounced like 'late', not like 'lay', by the way.
I’m an engineering manager and digital technologist based in the UK, and currently working for Monzo Bank. This is how I got here.
Originally starting out as a generalist web developer (front-end/back-end/Flash) coming into the industry through a university placement, I realised that I’d learnt so much more from a year of real-world projects and experience than I had in two years of traditional lecture halls and seminars. It was then that I made the difficult decision to leave my course, and instead to continue working professionally whilst completing my degree with the Open University to get the paperwork. This worked out - I got to do fantastic projects for people like Electronic Arts, Manchester United FC, Fulham FC, Nokia, D-Link, and Eurotunnel, plus also managed to get a First class degree.
I began to focus on back-end development and architecture for several years, evolving through roles including the management of a team of developers, Solutions Architect, eventually working my way to Head of Technology at a global full-service digital agency.
After many years and a change in geography in my personal life, in December 2012 I decided to leave the agency world and told myself that I’d “freelance until I found the right ‘proper’ job”. Shortly after, having had a taste of self-employment I decided to turn down some excellent offers, instead wanting to focus on building something myself.
I initially contracted with varied companies to build up a range of different experiences before deciding to form a consultancy company - Records Sound the Same. I founded this in 2014, and the company operated on a collective model, providing strategic technical consultancy services focused on helping with digital transformation, driving change, and teaching people new skills. We tried to do some good, and worked with nice people, including the Manor Racing F1 team, RNLI, and Inghams. (Here are a few examples of notable projects that I worked on, along with nice things people said.)
At the end of 2018, despite not looking for a job, I got lured in by the possibility of working for Monzo - a company I was already a customer of and hugely admired. I wrote a bit more about that decision in the blog post ‘A new chapter’.
I’m currently working at Monzo as an Engineering Manager, focusing on the web as a discipline across the company, as well as our COps Collective (covering the internal customer support tools that we’ve built).
Outside of the day job
Thoughout my career I’ve spoken, keynoted, and been MC at global industry conferences as an invited expert (events like Adobe MAX, From the Front, Fronteers, The Lead Developer, Responsive Day Out - have a look at the speaking page for more). I’ve also written for notable publications including Net Magazine, Web Designer Magazine, 24 Ways, The Pastry Box Project, as well as publishing a book.
When I’m not doing things online, I’m usually reading books or comics, cooking up all sorts of meals, or playing Xbox One games, most likely with a glass of wine close to hand. I hold slightly elitist views on tea, take photographs of hotel carpets, and have spent most of my adult life fighting my body’s reluctance to be a redhead.
As you heard above, I hold a First Class BSc (Hons) degree from the Open University, plus I speak a variety of languages at a different levels, including Japanese (I’m currently studying towards the N3 level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test), French, German and Indonesian (I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia for eight years).
You can find more recommendations and endorsements on my LinkedIn page, or if you’d like to discuss my full CV please get in touch. I tweet as @sallylait if you’d like to say hello about anything else.