My journey to eventually joining the Notbinary and Panoply team has a feeling of destiny about it…….
A bit about me…
I grew up in Sussex before moving to the Cambridgeshire countryside about 6 years ago. I’m married to Catherine, we have two Daughters aged 7 and 10 and two dogs, a Staffie called Chester and a French Bulldog called Logan.
I have a lot (too many) interests; I build a lot of Lego (ask to see my display), I am learning the Guitar (don’t ask me to play), I love nature and photography, I am a suffering West Ham fan, I am what you call an eclectic music lover with a vinyl collection that includes Kate Bush, Eminem, Jamie T, Max Richter, Katie Melua, Dire Straits Kodaline and Lana Del Rey.
I left school as an aspiring Helicopter Engineer. After a year or so it turned out that riveting sheets of metal wasn’t that exciting so I then took a change of direction and moved into sales for a few years, then executive search and management consultancy for a few more years before landing into the world of tech and software engineering consultancy.
The real story began at MagenTys in 2012 where I led strategy, sales, marketing and partnerships (as well as founding 2 seperate businesses which we merged into MagenTys) to take us from a team of 4 to establishing a really strong company employing c. 30 people delivering consultancy around software engineering as well as a catalog of IP and assets. We had some great clients such as M&S, Ustwo, Missguided, Thorntons, L&G and Companies House.
Back to the Panoply story, in 2015 I setup a small nearshore DevOps engineering capability in Sofia (see where this is going…) with a company called Questers. In 2017, when I was looking to scale MagenTys, Neal Gandhi and I had lunch in Shoreditch and explored the idea of bringing a bunch of good companies together to create something special and over the coming year I met the teams at Manifesto and Notbinary…
The vision was coming together nicely. However, our client NTT DATA (who are one of the biggest tech companies on the planet) made an approach to acquire MagenTys and so we had to withdrew from the Panoply deal and joined NTT DATA to establish their UK DevOps practice. I led the integration of MagenTys, formed the DevOps practice and helped it develop into one of the most robust capabilities and propositions within the NTT DATA business.
Come Jan 2020, after 8 years of MagenTys/NTT DATA, I needed to get into something ‘entrepreneurial’ again and where better to go than join the great team (that I should have been part of from the start!) here to help shape and grow the Commercial Industry practice for the group.
If money were no object, what would you do with your life?
I am a DIY enthusiast so would love to do something where I am making or fixing things. Day to day, if you’ve ever seen The Repair Shop, doing something like that where I could bring broken things back to life would be cool. I’ve signed up to do a Diploma in Horology so I might get there one day! Alongside that, I would work at my local nature reserve as I spend enough time there anyway.
What’s the last picture you took on your phone?
The bad news: I lost the roof of my shed in Storm Ciara. The good news: I am going to demolish the whole structure and build a sturdy shed out of bricks and mortar. Never done that before so it will be fun…
What are you most passionate about?
My garden has 14 bird feeders in it…my passion is definitely watching birds. I also drag my family to Wicken Fen nature reserve or Lackford Lakes a few times a month to go bird watching. Seeing, listening and experiencing nature, whether it is a sunrise, a dawn chorus or spotting a rare bird keeps me content.
What cause are you passionate about?
I am the Digital and Fundraising Trustee for Centre 33, a charity that supports children and young adults across a variety of issues, from Young Carers through to Mental Health. In the past, before I moved away from Sussex, I was a Trustee for Home Start that supports children up to the age of 5 who have challenging home circumstances.
Ensuring everyone has the best possible start to their lives and the supporting mechanism around them to help them be the best people they can be is important to me and is something I will always find time for.
Is there carbon in your cloud?
With all the government clients I have worked with ‘cloud first’ is always followed (or at least aspired to) and frequently talked about. Guidance on how to create and implement a cloud hosting strategy refers to capability, cost and data storage requirements of your organisation's unique set of needs, but not the needs of the planet.
Avoid learning too many lessons from these ‘unprecedented times’
The big thing I keep reminding people is while there will be lessons to learn from all this we need to take them with a grain of salt. These are not normal times and the change in attitudes is probably a lot more fragile than some people think.
Impact beyond Alpha
4-8 weeks of a Discovery or Alpha project is a fleeting time for us to accomplish our mission: to help institutions embrace the opportunities of the internet era. What can we try to extend our impact beyond the confines of the project.