What is your career background?
My career began as Technical Developer and Hardware Engineer at Royal Holloway University where I implemented and supported a multitude of post-graduate and privately funded research projects. In my 7 years there, I was fortunate enough to have been provided with the tools and teaching to learn many programming languages, open source hardware and develop cutting edge web technologies that were deployed throughout research projects and adopted by the University .
In 2011, I moved in to the Digital Agency sector as a Lead Developer working for a top 10 UK London-based digital agency. During my time in London, I lead and delivered a number of digital transformation projects in Sitecore and Drupal for The Prince Of Wales, The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, General Electric, Meggitt, Visit England, Taylor Wimpey, Trinity College and a few charities including Terrance Higgins Trust, Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Lord Sainsbury.
At the start of 2015, I was fortunate to work for a digital agency outside of London where I lead a number of global teams as a Technical Lead and Technical Architect, delivering digital transformation projects and helping large enterprise clients such as Sainsbury’s Bank, Vanquis Bank, HSBC and Bupa Global move to cloud based infrastructure (Azure and Amazon AWS).
How did you first learn about Open Blend?
After many years working for Digital Agencies, I wanted to make a move to focus on delivering the latest and greatest cloud technologies and I came to hear about Open Blend and the amazing product that they were building. Having struggled with balancing the requirements of my day job and spending enough time with family & friends, I was introduced to the concept of Open Blend by Anna and I instantly loved the concept that work and life commitments should be a blend rather than two forces in constant opposition with each other.
What made you choose to work for Open Blend?
The Digital Agency sector is a really exciting industry to work in and whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the regular challenge and emphasis on delivering the best possible products for our clients, the limitations of how far we could push technology is always defined by how susceptible a client is to technical transformation. Open Blend have an amazing product built in the latest Microsoft Azure cloud technology and when I saw the application and how it was architected, I jumped at the chance to work on such an exciting project.
What is your role in Open Blend?
I’ve joined Open Blend as the Head of Technology and I’ll be working to introduce a number of the concepts of continuous delivery, digital transformation and cloud architecture to the technical team along with looking after all the ones and zeros.
Personally, what makes you a happy and engaged employee?
I’m happiest when I’m being challenged by working on really exciting technology that is new to the market and has tonnes of potential.
What do you find most disengaging in a work environment?
Seeing fellow colleagues burnt out and not spending enough time focusing on the things that really make them tick is really sad.
Tell us about your Blend; which element choices were a no-brainer?
After doing my first blend session, I’ve come to realise that I’m really motivated by an efficient and effective team, great technical infrastructure (which was really a no brainer for someone like me) and flexibility to spend time with my family and friends whilst being able to keep up with my health and exercise.
What makes you most excited about Open Blend?
The cultural shift of work blending with your personal life whilst delivering a technical product that’s well ahead of the curve is a really exciting prospect and one I hope that many other workplaces will come to adopt.
We are thrilled to have James onboard. Stay tuned for some exciting tech updates coming very soon...