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Searching for Mana: The Future of Software Development | Nicholas Mills, CircleCI

Nick Mills, CircleCI GM EMEA, joins Lloyd Wahed to discuss the future of tech and software engineering. The company, which is a software delivery platform automating development workflows and IT operations, has just reached a $1.7 billion valuation, after the recent $100 million Series F.

And Nick has a unique perspective on the subject. Since 2008, he has joined tech giants like Microsoft or Facebook (pre-IPO stage), and later worked at Stripe closely with their founders Patrick and John. Since then, he’s become an early-stage investor, non-exec director and board advisor in Fintech companies and the mini-CEO for the CircleCI EMEA region.

Lloyd and Nick discuss how Nick joined tech from a law degree, the VC and investment landscape in Europe, and differences between leading at large tech organisations versus early-stage startups. Plus, Nick tells us how software can be a catalyst for innovation and how investing can affect social impact with high leverage.

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Episode Highlights:

01:32: How can we optimise software development?

06:59: Global expansion with regionalisation and localisation

12:47: Trends in software engineering

18:52: Early-career and joining the tech industry

25:36: Difference between launching and scaling a fintech in the US vs Europe

30:34: Lessons from working with Facebook engineers

34:39: Working at early-stage startups and large organisation

42:34: Nick’s Mana

51:44: CircleCI’s growth plans and the future of software development hiring


  • Gina is a fintech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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