Helen Warren

Director of Engineering

With over 23 years in the industry, I've evolved from a hands-on developer to now leading our team of super smart agile developers as Director of Engineering at Torchbox.

I’ve always been passionate about software development. My approach has traditionally been to immerse myself in a client organisation to understand what I see in the ‘real world’ to optimally convert that into good database design and code, and smooth and joyful user experiences.

I’ve been successfully building scalable software for charity and public sector clients for over twenty years, with a particular interest in the sports sector having built strong relationships with organisations like the Football Foundation and the Youth Sport Trust. I’m especially invested in the sustainability and longevity of software systems and their long term extensibility so they can grow with the evolving goals of an organisation.

Prior to being a software developer, I spent time in the academic trenches gaining my DPhil in Astrophysics and then working as a postdoctoral researcher in theoretical and observational cosmology. This era sharpened my organisational skills, research and problem-solving abilities, and gave me a keen eye for detail as well as solidifying my love of Physics!

My day to day work now is about bringing all these experiences to bear to enable growth and improvement of the engineering team - so we can together build scalable, high quality, robust products which delight users.

Things I’m passionate about when it comes to my team are: personal development and career progression of individual team members, defining and embedding best practice in our engineering work, building a community of friendly professionals who support each other’s growth and enjoy their work, pushing the boundaries of our knowledge by enabling research and experimentation and recruiting outstanding individuals to further strengthen our team. I aim to enable people to be in the right places, doing things they love  in an optimal way according to their skill sets and ambitions.

Outside of work, I am an evangelist for exercise for mental health. Whether it’s swinging kettlebells or throwing punches (only at my punch bag in the garage), I believe staying active is the key to happiness.