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Folashade: Lead Scrum Master in the UK

Name: Folashade A.
Job Title: Lead Scrum Master, Global Operations Network Authorizations

Continuous evolution

I support two development teams on the Enterprise Payments Platform (EPP) team. Both teams work on the Network Authorizations Agile Release Train (NAART). The Agile Release Train is a system of developers on a “train,” who work together on end to end development. In NAART, we create and enhance highly available solutions to process over 700 card transactions per second with sub-second response times. As the payments landscape evolves, we’re evolving the platform to integrate with digital payment services and modernize our architecture without causing any impact on our clients. I drive operational excellence, foster continuous learning and contribute to the scrum master community of practice.

Mentor and mentee

Mentorship has played a critical role in my career. I both mentor new scrum masters and am mentored by one of our solution train engineers. I mentor new scrum masters in other agile release trains to help them settle their new teams. They shadow my day-to-day work to learn up close how I operate. On a broader scale, I’ve taught other teams about agile and agile framework best practices— I helped create standardized content for all scrum masters. Being on both sides of mentorship, both mentoring and being mentored, is so crucial to developing careers.

Tapping senior leadership

I once helped facilitate new innovation days with other scrum masters. When planning the innovation days, we struggled with promoting the event to employees. I got more leadership involved in the event publicity and recorded info sessions about the innovation day to use before and during the event.

Community of women

I helped create the the ‘Women in Tech’ (WIT) community of practice. We meet up once a week to have lunch, ‘rob minds’ on different tech topics, and share how we help our local communities. We’re all passionate about inspiring young girls to get into tech. We’re such a diverse group– I’ve enjoyed even just meeting up to share recipes from our diverse cultural backgrounds. We’ve truly built a community of women in leadership.

Turning weakness into strength

In my experience, it’s rare for an employer to encourage both leveraging your strengths and developing weaknesses. So at Discover, the sky is the limit. My business knowledge on network payment authorizations has grown massively. I’ve used Discover’s training courses to drive process improvements, productivity and improve my agile competency. When I work hard, I’m acknowledged and recognized. I truly believe that only I am my own limitation.

Motherhood and leadership

Being a wife and a mother, it’s important to me to have a work-life balance. Discover puts ‘employee wellness’ at our core. This value set allows me to take the time off if I need to attend to my family’s needs.

Developer perks

We have an employee recognition tool called Bravo. I love knowing I’ll be recognized with prizes and gift cards just for doing my normal job. We can also take educational leaves. I also took a course to become certified in a specific agile framework. The course itself took a week, and after the course ended I used a few of my ‘annual study leave’ days to take the professional exam. I passed! I’m really proud of this achievement and that Discover trusted me to take on the certification.

Look no further

If you want a place where you can grow your career while feeling valued, respected, appreciated and invested in, then look no further. Discover is a dream come true for me— a really nice place to work and grow at the same time.


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Paul: Impacting Customers’ Lives with Collections Models

Name: Paul A.
Job Title: Modeling Manager, Card Member Assistance

Advanced tech

I came to Discover because of the technologically-advanced environment. Since taking the job here a little over a year ago, I’ve been surprised at how the technology has continuously improved. This is a great environment to learn and use state-of-the art technology.

Focus on transparency

My team is responsible for collections models. Our business partners use these models to help people throughout the lifecycle of delinquency. Our team’s objective is focused on better transparency during the modeling process. Transparency means a couple of things for our team. It means we’re focused on communicating clearly with the strategy team and the Model Risk Management (MRM) team. It also means that we’re focused on building transparent Machine Learning models.

Creating transparent models requires statistical analyses to understand the relationship between the input variables and the predictions from the machine learning models. Understanding these relationships clearly is critical in a regulated environment, and also provides insights about how our customers behave.

Value of modeling

We’re on a mission to help all of our cardholders achieve a brighter financial future, no matter their current credit standing. Rising delinquencies hurt our company’s bottom line, but more importantly, it impacts our customer’s lives. Our models help to more effectively identify cardholders who need our help. Starting with those who show signs of struggling to make payments through their spending and payment habits, all the way to those who haven’t made a payment for an extended period of time. This allows us to flag cardholders earlier in their delinquency lifecycle and providing relevant and appropriate programs to assist them.

Emerge program

For the first time in my career, I manage other people. To get better at managing others, I enrolled in Discover’s Emerge program. The program is designed to help new managers with critical leadership skills. Participating in this program has been a major influence in shaping my management style. Every day I’m able to learn from others within a safe environment where I can ask questions.

Recently I’ve been working towards being more adaptive to both my peers and my direct reports. Because historically, I lead by example. My biggest take away from the program so far has been recognizing the importance of listening more, talking less, and trusting people.


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Italian Major Turned Senior Capacity Planner.

Name: Sheldon P.
Job Title: Senior Capacity Planner, Workforce Management

Far from traditional

My educational background is a bit far from what you’d typically find in the Financial Tech industry. I have an undergraduate degree in Italian language and a Master’s in Public Administration. I’d originally intended on working in the non-profit sector and one day saving the world. However, I joined Discover during the great recession. I’d just graduated with my undergraduate degree and weirdly enough, the job market was even worse for Italian majors than other undergraduates (who would’ve thought?). Discover was the first place that would hire me.

Now, looking back, Discover has afforded me greater opportunities than I would have ever expected leaving college with a degree in Italian. I’ve learned a technical skillset, managed teams, spearheaded projects, and collaborated on some truly remarkable things.

From phones to management

I began as a phone agent in the billing assistance department handling customer disputes. After about a year, I took a role learning the basics of database and query design. I then got accepted into the Field Operations Leadership Program (OLP). After that, I spent roughly eight years as a team leader in Card Member Assistance. Working in card member assistance was where I learned most of our core processes and some of our specialty lines.

Pushing for better outcomes

My experience across the organization made me a unique candidate for my current role in capacity planning. My team is responsible for ensuring that there are a sufficient number of people on the phones to handle inbound and outbound collection calls in Card Member Assistance. Because of my past experience, I’m able to understand the needs of operations, reporting, and workforce management alike. I would like to believe that this helps me achieve better outcomes for all parties impacted by my capacity plans.

Balancing duty and innovation

Around 70% of my time is spent on the day-to-day administrative needs of my job role. However, the remaining 30% is used to try new initiatives, focus on personal development, re-think strategies, align goals, etc. I’ve always been fortunate enough to be managed by people who were very interested in allowing discretionary time to be spent on process and self-improvement.

Starting with the end in mind

In each of my business units, roles and processes, I’ve tried to always make the job what it needed to be, rather than what it was. I start with the end vision in mind and then try to work step by step to reach that goal. I fear sometimes that people let the difficulty of a large initiative prevent them from taking small incremental steps. My motto is “perfect should never be the enemy of good.”

Leveraging new tech

I feel my greatest contributions at Discover have been related to my efforts to improve our technical enablement. I’ve leveraged new technology to improve our data reliability, accuracy and automation. I’m engaged in the work of automating data feeds into the capacity plan in order to reduce human error and provide faster, more transparent reporting into our forecasts.

Advice from Roger

One of the most positive experiences I’ve had at Discover came from an informal meeting some eight years ago with our Chief Executive Officer and President, Roger Hochschild. Someone asked Roger for his best piece of advice for an early career professional. His answer surprised me. He said: Never work for a boss who doesn’t have a life outside of work… because their idea of fun is you being in the office with them! His response was obviously comedic, but what he was touching upon was the superb work-life balance at Discover. Many companies say they encourage work-life balance, but in my experience, Discover truly makes it a priority.

Full tuition reimbursement

Wondering if you should join Discover? Do it! Because of Discover’s tuition reimbursement, I graduated with zero loan debt. I was promoted to management within a year of starting on the phones and it changed the course of my life. I’ve learned new skills, worked with extraordinary people and grown beyond what I thought was possible. I believe it’s a place of great opportunity for those who work hard, play hard and always do their best to win.


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Julian: Associate Software Developer in the UK

Name: Julian B.
Job Title: Associate Software Developer, Enterprise Payments Platform

Launching a career from an internship

I started at Discover as an Application Intern. During the summer internship programme, I worked on developing an application to automatically gather information about other applications’ movements through various environments. After graduating, I began my full time role as an Associate Software Developer on the Enterprise Payments Platform. There are only a few payment networks of this scale, so getting to work on one of them is exciting.

Pick up new skills

When I started at Discover full time, I had just graduated. I wasn’t familiar with all the specific frameworks and technologies— I just knew the relevant underlying principles. The technology we work with moves at a quick pace, so my desire to pick up new skills and knowledge really helped me move from an “intern,” into a true software developer.

Becoming a tech expert as a new grad

I’m also part of the emerging talent programme. We dedicate time during the day to develop our skills. I’ve heard other employers demand really niche technical skills from new graduates. However, at Discover we recognize the underlying enthusiasm in new grads. We “new grads” may not have had time to dive into niche tech yet, but with investment and support, we can become proficient.

Starting work in a pandemic

I started work during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve noticed that to counteract the isolated nature of working remotely, my teammates make a conscious effort to reach out via meetings and messages even more, whether it’s to talk about work or just generally check in with each other. The virtual connection makes me feel welcome and made up for not being able to meet in person.

Don’t undervalue the soft skills

Even though I’ve only worked here for a short time, I’ve already grown both technically and professionally. Coming from a technical background, soft skills can be easy to undervalue. However, I really appreciate that I now feel far more comfortable speaking up during meetings and demos than I ever have before.

Noticing enthusiasm everywhere

People are genuinely enthusiastic about what they’re working on and it shines through in everything they do. Our tech teams really care about our work. That energy generates such a positive atmosphere— I know I’ll never take it for granted.

Presenting to senior leadership

Towards the end of my internship, all the interns gave individual presentations to a group of senior leaders. I was quite nervous leading up to the big day —presenting is not my strongest skill— but everyone was relaxed and friendly. The leaders asked questions about what I thought of the internship experience and were genuinely interested in what I had to say. The presentations were a great point to reflect on what I’d achieved during the experience.

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Top 8 Aspects of an Innovative Tech Environment

Name: Sanjeev K.
Job Title: Full Stack Senior Software Engineer

At Discover, we approach innovation as a mindset. Every team collaborates together to contribute to our overall business goals. My team improves card application submission and conversion rates with an easy user-interface. We also leverage modern technology for a fault-tolerant and reliable system. Below are some of the methodologies we deploy and projects we’re tackling to innovate together across the value stream.

Modernized front-end

I currently focus on two product areas— seamless customer experience during the Discover Card application, and affiliate reporting.  Working together, our team modernizes the Discover Card application experience for both consumer and business cards, direct mail campaigns and pre-qualification applications. We’re also modernizing our affiliate reporting system, which helps us bring referrals from external advertisement partners. The new system will enhance our ability to accurately and timely pay our affiliates and improve overall system reliability.

Soft skills

Across the value stream, our self-organized Engineering Practice Steward Program removes or minimizes technical challenges and standardizes our engineering practice. As a project leader, I struggled initially with leading large projects. However, with the help of the stewards, I not only grew my technical knowledge, but also built my soft skills. I learned problem solving and critical thinking strategies alongside leadership, communication and team-work coaching. With continuous support from value stream architects and managers, I’m much more confident in my ability to effectively lead.

Engineering playbook

Once of our goals in the Engineering Practice Steward Program was to create an engineering playbook. We focused on everything from on-boarding new engineers, to developing consistent practices across the value stream. While we were originally looking to affect our own area, since its inception, our work has been shared across the company.

Rapid feedback model

Unlike other companies, we leverage a rapid feedback model. Our sprints take 1 week, as opposed to 3 weeks. The shortened timeframe allows us to give rapid feedback to product managers about the backlog velocity and volatility. Using that feedback, our product managers can more accurately calculate our workload on the next sprint. A major part of our culture also surrounds providing feedback to peers, manager and even top level managers. We address and escalate problems to hone in quickly on solutions.

Shorter sprints

Shorter sprints also means smaller stories and features delivered quickly for testing. The sooner we receive feedback, the more time we have to react to that feedback. We find failures as soon as possible. This model then becomes conducive to asking questions and learning from the answers to understand what the business needs.

Extreme Programming (XP) environment

Our value stream follows XP software development methodology. The XP methodology is intended to improve software quality and responsiveness to changing customer requirements. XP concentrates on frequent planning, designing, testing and communicating to achieve short development cycles and improve productivity.

Test-driven mentality

We follow a test-driven development approach. We write a test (and enough implementation code) to fulfill that test and the refactoring. This method avoids writing unnecessary or faulty code and works well with our documentation model. We follow Behavioral Driven Development (BDD) pattern to write tests. Our layers of testing minimize (if not fully remove) buggy code on production because we catch the bugs early in different environments.

People first

From my experience, Discover is an exciting, forward-thinking, fast-moving company with lots of opportunity to grow personally and professionally. We work with the latest technologies, methodologies, and with a “people first” mentality.

My authentic self

I love playing soccer, guitar and video games. I used to do professional kick boxing.


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Ron: Principal Software Developer

Name: Ron R.
Job Title: Principal Software Developer

All roads lead to Discover

I joined Discover back when it was still part of Sears. I left Sears to join a consulting company and got placed back at Discover. After working as a consultant on the Discover account for a few years, I converted to become an official employee (again).

Deciding the future of the network

I’m on the network authorizations release train. The release train provides the development, reporting, alerting, support and administration of the authorizations gateway. I’m on an architecture team responsible for determining the technical needs of the network. Our team decides where the network needs to go in the future.

Finding a tech focus

I started on the mainframe on the authorizations team, then became a founding member of the gateways team doing distributed development. I’ve developed multiple versions of our core Discover authorizations gateway. Much of my career has been focused on ensuring our gateways are functioning correctly and that our support teams and business partners are notified when we detect issues.

The “Ron-itor”

In recent years, I’ve built real-time monitoring and alerting for those same authorization gateways. My focus on analytics includes developing a machine learning app that detects anomalies in our environment. Because of my long history with our gateways, the monitor app is sometimes referred to as the “Ron-itor.”

Coming out at Discover

I became a founding member of the PRIDE employee resource group. At our first event, I performed in front of my coworkers in the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus. After the concert, I told my coworkers the story of my coming out process. I’ll never forget making such a significant life transition during my career at Discover. I felt so supported by my company and coworkers in such a public way.

What’s it’s like to work at Discover

I’ve said it to countless people throughout the years— Discover is a great place to work. The people I work with are friendly, my work is interesting and challenging, I have a good balance with my personal life, and I’ve had so many opportunities to learn and grow.

My authentic self

I sing in a chorus, I’ve been to 42 states and I have a degree in meteorology.


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Denise: Software Engineering Manager

Name: Denise Hill
Job Title: Software Engineering Manager

Keeping flexible hours

I joined Discover because I wanted a new opportunity to stretch my skills. I excitedly joined an environment where software development is done on a much larger scale than anywhere I had previously experienced. I took on new challenges without sacrificing my work-life balance values. I now work flexible hours around school pick-ups, which is really important to me as a mom.

Managing means coaching

When I joined Discover, I was new to the Software Engineering Manager role. My team is responsible for the engineering data underlying the new worldwide payments platform. As a people manager, my impact at Discover centres around recruiting and coaching our team members. I ensure they have what they need to deliver high quality software for Discover.

Encouraged to grow

My main contribution is encouraging communication and knowledge sharing across the business. My manager continues to support me and encourage me to identify professional growth opportunities. There’s great potential to develop your career at Discover with the support to get you where you want to go.

Forming high-performing teams virtually

The grown-up approach to flexible and remote working is amazing. It’s enabled our team to work with people across the world. I loved working on a team with the UK interns this year. Because of the pandemic, Discover transitioned the entire internship programme to become virtual. I felt amazed at how such a new high performing team could form without ever meeting in person.


Autonomy is really important to me. Discover allows me to identify and create opportunities to make our tech better. The people I work with provide the support to make it happen.

My authentic self

I’m a runner and enjoy long trail runs. I love singing and occasionally rapping. Prior to COVID-19 quarantine, I was in two choirs. I’ve also recently started figure drawing for the first time.


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Positivity, Empathy, Authenticity: Becoming a Team Leader

Name: Vanessa W.
Job Title: Team Leader, Payments

Building agents

As a team leader in Customer Care for Payments, our goal is to engage, develop and influence agents to build essential skills and behaviors. We coach agents to provide an exceptional customer service experience and achieve job enrichment.

Shake it off

I’m a firm believer in the power of positivity. I carry positivity with me everywhere I go and in every aspect of my life. I have a playlist that I named “Power of Positivity” and it’s filled with inspirational and upbeat music. I listen to this playlist regularly to pump up my positivity. I encourage my agents in a similar way by quoting songs when they’re feeling discouraged from a rough call. I’ll tell them “shake it off” or “you live, you learn.” I feel encouraged knowing that when agents are promoted from my team, they carry a little bit of that positivity with them.

Ingrained learning

My greatest achievements have come from the learning opportunities I’ve taken here. Discover’s professional development classes are valuable because the content is thorough, engaging and practical for my career. But it doesn’t stop there. The content is ingrained in almost every aspect of the job, so we get to practice what we learn and ultimately progress. All those opportunities have shaped me into the leader that I am today.

Delivering feedback

One of the many things that sets Discover apart from other employers is the investment in our employees. Everyone that I’ve encountered at Discover has offered me feedback in a way that has helped me grow, not just as an employee, but as a person. The way feedback is delivered is so positive and encouraging that it motivates and challenges me to think outside of the box.

Don’t check your baggage at the door

The engagement and the culture here is beyond measure. Any leader or trainer that I’ve had, has always invested their time in getting to know me as a person. Discover understands that we’re human and we can’t always “check our baggage at the door.” Because I’ve been supported to build a wonderful work-life balance, my dedication to this company is also beyond measure.

Seeing my potential even when I couldn’t

Once when I was an agent, I was feeling really discouraged. I’d just transferred from another state and was very out of my element on a new call channel, a new call center and a new state. My Team Leader noticed that I was disengaged, so she set up a meeting with our Department Manager. Meeting with your boss’s boss in any other context or company is an intimidating experience. But not at Discover. My Department Manager knew me by name and took the steps that he felt were necessary to put me in an area where I would learn and grow best. That moment in time has helped sky rocket my confidence in my leaders and in myself because Discover saw my potential when I couldn’t.

Coaching through the mental blocks

I’ve had many great days at Discover. But of all the amazing experiences that I’ve had here, I would have to say that the absolute best is when agents who’ve been promoted off my team come back and tell me about their successes. It makes my heart happy to see them grow with the company. I had one agent who wouldn’t let their guard down when they first came to my team. They were negative during coachings and overall it seemed like they didn’t want to be here. Rather than dismiss them, I took the time to get to know them and fought to bring down those walls because I saw their potential. By the end of their time on my team, they were one of the most positive and brightest shining lights. It was hard to believe where they’d started. A year later, that same agent came back to me to let me know that they were applying to be a coach because they wanted to help others grow the way that I helped them grow. And that right there, is why I do what I do.

Going back to school

My husband was in the Air Force for a long time. That meant a lot of moving and a lot of employers for me. Because we moved around so much, we were never in one spot long enough for me to finish school, let alone pay for it. When Discover presented the College Commitment program, the program that fully funds Bachelor’s degrees, it was the opportunity that I had been waiting for.  I was able to go back to school and further my education.

Always choosing compassion and empathy

During the flooding in Texas a couple of years ago, I spoke with a woman who lost everything in the floods. She was calling in to make a payment and she told me how she didn’t want to stop paying Discover because it has been one of the best cards she’d ever had. This customer was late and had incurred a late fee. She politely asked if there was any way that we could remove it. After reviewing the account to ensure that I could, I let her know that we would be able to remove the late fee and that she would have the credit on her next statement. She cried. She cried because that $39 meant that she would be able to buy her necessities while she was homeless. She also thanked me for talking to her like a human being, with compassion and empathy. Then she proceeded to say “people like you are the reason why I will never stop using Discover.” That encounter touched me to the core and I carry that with me to this day.

Thinking of joining?

I’d tell anyone considering Discover to be themselves. What I believe helps Discover be successful is that our employees are free to be themselves. We are such a diverse group from all different walks of life that we help each other be better every day. We need what you have to bring to the table!


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Day in the Life: Senior Software Engineer

Name: Sara B.
Job Title: Senior Software Engineer

Building internal tools

As a Senior Software Engineer, I build internal tools to support analytics and data science. This support includes an informational portal for cloud analytics technologies and AIR9, a data science workbench that provides resources for model training in the cloud. I’ve primarily worked on developing the front-end of these applications, using HTML, CSS and TypeScript.

Curiosity for cloud technology

Curiosity and a passion for learning have helped shape my time at Discover since day one. We are always innovating, exploring and trying new methods and technologies. Having the curiosity to learn new things has helped build my confidence as a developer and not stay siloed in my work. I recently worked on a proof of concept project using a new cloud technology tool, though I’ve never worked with it before. At first I was nervous to begin the project and push out of my comfort zone. However, with the help from my teammates who have an in-depth knowledge of cloud technologies, and my enthusiasm for learning something new, I was able to understand the requirements quickly and get the project up and running!

Iterating as we go

Discover is leading by giving us the tools and resources necessary to innovate, continuously iterate and improve the way we work. Our culture of collaboration and openness provides opportunities to think through solutions together and see the technology from different perspectives.

Comfortable being myself

I feel most at home at Discover when grabbing lunch with my co-workers, talking about our different projects and our interests outside of work. I look forward to spending time with them every day and getting to know them both professionally and personally. Everyone is super friendly and open, and I feel comfortable being myself.

The moment I knew

I knew I wanted to start my career with Discover after I interned on an Application Development team. My team was always willing to help me learn the ropes of software development. During my last year of college, I wanted to explore data and analytics and got the opportunity to learn more about analytics platform roles at Discover. I subsequently transitioned to one of those roles when I started full-time after graduation. This made me feel supported and gave me an opportunity to follow my passion and grow my potential.

Painting murals 

Discover cares. About employees, about customers, about the community. The event I look forward to the most is Volunteer Day. Once a year, the Business Technology department volunteers together, usually at an elementary or middle school in the area. I really enjoy painting murals on the schools’ walls that convey educational messages and school spirit! I also like meeting new people in Business Technology and hearing about the work they do, all while giving back to the community.

Smart people doing good things

If I had to describe Discover, I would say: smart people doing good things. The thing that really impressed me about Discover, and continues to impress me to this day, is how much the company thinks about, and cares about, our customers. I’m continually impressed by the depth and breadth of knowledge around me each day. I’ve learned so much from my co-workers, such as new AWS tools and new ways to improve data analysis.


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Team Coach: Manifesting Opportunity

Name: Angel G.
Job Title: Team Coach, Digital Messaging

Passion for coaching

I’ve been with Discover for over 15 years and have worked across nearly all areas of Customer Service: sales, billing assistance, silent attrition, etc. I’ve done it all. I’m currently a Team Coach on the Digital Messaging team. My past experience in so many different roles enables me to coach my agents from a deeply personal place. I know exactly how their work impacts our customers and our company. Sharing my personal knowledge motivates my agents to drive great service, creates an unforgettable banking experience and impacts Discover customers everywhere.

Driving positivity

I find that staying positive about a challenge allows me to dig further into the problem and ultimately drive better solutions. Above all else— I never give up. I give 300% each and every day and encourage my teammates to do the same. I love to execute in everything I do, and do it well.

Staying true to my values

One of my core values is rooted in staying true to myself. Early on in my career, I noticed a lot of noise from different people’s opinions on how to move forward. As I gained more experience, I realized the importance of falling back on my values and staying true to my own voice. No matter what, I’m committed to always letting my personality shine.

As a Team Coach, I bring that lesson back to my team. I believe in meeting my agents where they’re at. Only from this place of authenticity can we all play to win, succeed together and get better every day.

Manifesting opportunity

At Discover, we create and develop new things constantly. Once you’re here, new opportunities continually manifest over time. There’s so much to be a part of that you might have never expected.

During my time here, I’ve volunteered with mentoring programs, grown from the Aspiring Professionals Development Program, and joined employee resource groups like ​Young Professionals Organization at Discover (YPOD) and Helping Organize Latino Achievement (HOLA).

Ultimately, Discover is the right place for me because I feel that no matter what happens, we will always do what’s right. If you’re ready to grow, and are committed to working hard, then we’re ready to get you started.