What’s your role at Groop?
I lead the Development Team. I’m responsible for delivering all the improvements and new features to Groop and to the mobile app – with the help of my team. I also make sure that all our systems are running smoothly.
What does a typical day look like?
Every morning starts with a daily stand-up meeting where the Development Team catch up with what we did the day before and what we’re planning to do today. Things often move very fast in our team so this is vital! The rest of my day could be anything – often it’s reviewing and testing new features that the team have built or bugs they’ve fixed, or it’ll be designing and planning new features with the Product team. I also work closely with the Customer Success Team to make sure our customers are getting the most out of the software, and am responsible for making sure all our servers are in tip-top condition. Sometimes I even write some code!
What’s your background?
I came into software development by accident – I originally studied astrophysics (and occasionally give an impromptu demonstration of orbital mechanics in the kitchen!) but I found that writing the computer programs to analyze the data from experiments was more fun than the experiments themselves. I’ve been in software professionally for 8 years now and still find it interesting and satisfying.
What skills do you need for your job?
Problem solving! Writing code is the easy bit, figuring out what code to write is much harder! You’ve got to be really diligent as well – there are so many factors that go into software on the scale of Groop that the smallest change in one place could have knock-on effects elsewhere.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Where to start! I’ve got a great team, working on a great product… Actually the thing I most enjoy is shipping new features – even the smallest change we implement will make somebody’s life easier somewhere.
How do you spend your spare time? (What volunteering do you do outside of work?)
I play keyboards in rock bands! I’ve been fortunate enough to have played gigs all over the country with various tribute and original bands, and seen more motorway services than you can imagine…
When I’m not doing that I help my wife run her outreach theatre company, with the aim of putting on plays with people who might not otherwise act, in places that might not otherwise see them.
Any recommendations to share?
Groop! I recommend it to everyone! I’ve also just finished watching Schitt’s Creek on Netflix. It’s hilarious and touching and a great way to wind down in the evenings.
What’s your biggest achievement?
It’s cheesy, but marrying my wife!