Mónica Rodrigues
7 min readFeb 26, 2024

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A life at Farfetch during 7 years and 4 months … the end of a chapter

Last Thursday (15/02/2024), I received an invitation for a meeting on Friday morning. I knew the type of meeting it was but couldn’t believe that it could involve me. I didn’t sleep that night. At 4:30 AM, I chatted on Slack with my manager about it, and he replied. So, neither of us slept that night, in fact. On Friday, you can’t imagine how I felt when I received that call in the meeting. I didn’t stop crying on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I was in “shock” about what was happening. Now, you might be wondering why I cried and why I was in “shock”. It wasn’t about money or losing a job. Let me try to explain why…

I follow the growth of the Lisbon office. We were just 17 people (I was the third or fourth person to join the company for this role), I remember the early days when we lacked a physically present manager and an agile coach. During these times, we felt a little isolated at the office…

I worked at the Lionesa office for the first two months because the Lisbon office was not prepared to receive us for work. After that, we moved to Av Liberdade, which was our first office in Lisbon. In this office, we formed the initial teams — two teams initially and later a third one. Each person chose their team on a whiteboard. While we had a manager assisting us from Porto, it wasn’t quite the same. This office was very small, with a capacity for maybe 30 people. I remember that we had some difficulties entering the “kitchen,” :D which was too small for all of us.

First Lisbon Office in Av. Liberdade

Five months later, or perhaps even more, we began packing all our belongings because the new Lisbon office was prepared to receive us. It was a humorous day; we disassembled some tables and packed all our things into boxes, getting ready for the transportation service. And there we go… it’s time to see the new Lisbon office in D. Luis.

We moved to the new Lisbon office in D. Luis on April 17, 2017 (yes, I think that was the date, but I’m not entirely sure; what I know for sure is that it was in April). You couldn’t imagine our expressions when we arrived there; our faces simply said… wow… wow… it was one of the best offices we’ve ever worked at. Only the third floor was operational for work, and our belongings were already there waiting for us. The second floor didn’t have tables for work; it was just a big empty space. Additionally, we had a training room where we conducted some training sessions. However, that arrangement changed later because the office needed to accommodate growth :D It was a happy day for us, and our motivation for work increased significantly.

But something started happening; we encountered numerous IT problems in that location because we lacked access to applications, similar to what we had in Porto, such as SharePoint and deployment tools, etc. It was an interesting experience 😅. Yes, at Farfetch, we were using SharePoint at that time, and the code was not in GitLab, no no. I can’t remember the name of the other system 😓. The IT team started helping to resolve the issues, and soon we began working more smoothly.

A few days after we joined the new office, we got our first engineering manager for the Lisbon office, accompanied by a talented Product Owner, and we felt a sense of relief. You can’t imagine the significance of these two individuals at that moment. It was incredible because the manager knew our names; he had studied the teams beforehand (something that I learned from him, among other things, of course).

About the Sharepoint part …

I remembered the day when one of the tech leaders in the cluster initiating the migration of Farfetch project source code to GitLab. Also, it was during this period, possibly starting in January 2017, that a significant reorganisation took place at Farfetch. A new architecture group was established, and we began taking on the new role of Engineer Leads. Just to clarify, when I joined the company, the roles were limited to tech leads in the cluster, a cluster engineer manager, a product owner for each team, and a few others. Inside the cluster, we had different teams, but there were no leads. Here’s a picture below:

Another significant event during that time was the creation of Confluence. At Farfetch, we began creating documentation there and migrating content from SharePoint to Confluence. It marked another important achievement for us.

The teams in Lisbon began to improve their performance with a new Agile coach that was hired specifically for Farfetch Lisbon. This brought about more changes in the company and our daily work processes. Witnessing these transformations and our growth was truly amazing. We played a significant role in this progress; we knew and saw each person who joined at Farfetch. It was an incredible experience!

So …. this is why I cried, as we witnessed the company in its infancy with only 17 people and saw it grow to 400 people in Lisbon. My employee ID was 799 (I will never forget it). Of course, in Porto, we had more people.

So a last note for everyone …

I grew a lot at this company. It was one of the best companies I’ve worked for throughout my career. I also had an amazing team that helped me grow every day. They challenged me with their unique personalities, and I know I will never forget them. They are my main heroes.

Thank you a lot for reading my article and don’t forget to be happy! Reminder my smile 😁 Find your dreams and go ahead with it. A great future is reserved for all of us. 👋

The post that I made on Linkedin, you don’t need to read it if you saw it in linkedin…

I remembered the day when I joined to the company, it was in Lionesa because Lisbon office was in “building mode” 🤪
I met a lot of great, talented and excelent people from Porto and Lisbon. It was a company where I grow a lot as a professional, felt happy everyday, with always a smile to give to everyone around me. We had a value #todosjuntos that was one that I felt a lot when I joined.
I started as a mid engineer and finished as a great leader that I dream to be.
But one day the chapter needs to end, company sometimes need to do some difficult decisions and I understand. I cried yesterday and today a lot because this company have something magical inside me and it is very special but .. hey .. there are more companies out there that maybe need someone like me. Also wants some energy that I always have to offer and a smile .. ☺️ it was my best experience and I want to thank you all farfetchers for this time together.

After left the company… soon … I want to rest a little bit, and prepare my mind for the future. Update my CV, do a cover letter and maybe some videos to share with you all about leadership, personal development and why not technology?!

Thank you a lot again and don’t forget to be happy! Reminder my smile 😁 Find your dreams and go ahead with it. A great future is reserved for all of us. 👋

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Mónica Rodrigues

A content creator about leadership, personal development and software. Follow @monicarodriguesjourney on Instagram for more content also.