Head of Consultancy (Newcastle & Leeds)
It wasn’t any one ‘thing’ that got me into technology as a kid; it was maths, puzzles, Sudoku, video games, electronics… honestly, the list was endless.
For me, the fascination was – and still is – how such disparate elements relate and interconnect with one another. This preoccupation meant that I didn’t want to focus solely on computing at uni, but its role within a much wider technological context. It’s why I ended up studying software engineering at Imperial College London.
After graduating, instead of taking a gap year to travel the globe, I bought and ran a pub in the North East, falling in love with the region, before selling up and officially starting out on my tech career. I initially worked at Parsons Brinckerhoff and as a contractor before, in 2010, I had a choice between joining a large, very well known insurance company or this small unknown software consultancy called Scott Logic.
While the latter’s interview process had left me cold because it felt like they were being guarded, my recruiter convinced me they were great people who were truly passionate about technology. I took the job and it turned out he was right, even if it ended up being a baptism of fire.
Not long after that, I worked with Californian company RMS where I spent several months in the States and ended up leading a large team of 15 people across two UK sites. Because we were building an entire platform from the ground up, it taught me how to start projects before scaling them massively.
The next major challenge was working on Scott Logic’s first ever fully managed delivery for Europe’s leading power exchange, Nord Pool. This saw us creating an entire UX design-led service – including back and front ends – plus deploying cloud infrastructure for the first time.
My combined experience of development, client management and scaling led me to becoming Head of Consultancy in 2017, applying my knowledge to Scott Logic itself. It’s like developing a software system but now you’re nurturing clients, putting the right teams together, and delivering solutions that, fingers crossed, delight. But instead of one work stream, it's 20 client outcomes with me sitting across them all, ensuring each one delivers.
Over the past year though, everything has inevitably been about the pandemic. While it has been business as usual with our clients as we often work with them remotely anyway, the challenge has been making sure our people are properly supported.
It’s why we worked hard to ensure everybody had the right technology setups at home; why we get communications out to people regularly so they don’t feel cut off; and why we started virtual coffee breaks, virtual bars (and even a virtual yoga session!) to make sure everyone feels part of a community even when stuck at home alone.
Turning to what we all hope will be a brighter future, we will continue to scale Scott Logic’s operations while maintaining our culture of being open and approachable – and ensuring we continue to provide a high value service to our clients.