Role: Chief Technology Officer
What do you do at Bespoke?
I work with my Bespoke colleagues, with inputs from the wider Microsoft and Power Platform community on our technical strategy. So, everything from looking at the Power Platform capabilities and preview features, which areas we should focus on, how we deliver successful implementations, consult on best practices and our guidelines on technical governance. I also review the technical aspects of proposals and how we continue to engage with our clients through roadmaps and ongoing support. And all that helps the team to define learning paths and career progression.
What are the values that drive you?
I believe I’m hard-working, and I want to be respected by my colleagues and clients both for my technical skills but also my approachability and quality of what we deliver. A manager at a previous company used the phrase ‘a safe pair of hands’ and I always aspire to meet that definition. Technology doesn’t have to be big and scary, the best projects for me are when we simplify things for our clients, be that bringing their data to life or automating and optimising a process. We spend so much of our lives at work, we might as well have fun doing it!
Who is someone you admire, and why?
Tough question and difficult not to give a name immediately influenced from current affairs or recent history. I’m going to cheat and say my parents, so two not one. And my wife. So three! At the risk of pointing out the obvious I wouldn’t be where I am today without my parents, and anyone who sticks with me for two decades definitely deserves a mention!
Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?
Nope, my CV is pretty much up to date. I’m also a keen cyclist and chef, but not particularly skilled nor talented at either!
Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What do you want to be when you grow up?
It was probably a vet. I’ve always liked animals, wildlife and the outdoors. I also had ambitions to join the forces but unfortunately my Harry Potter wizard thick spectacles put paid to that idea, so now I only get to pretend on the Playstation.
How do you think your colleagues would describe you?
That new guy who used to work with Dynamics 365 CRM
What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?
We’re trying to move house at the moment. So a BBQ in the new garden is my ambition. We last moved house in 2008 so we’ve got a tendency to do it during periods of economic uncertainty. So, here’s a tip! Next time you hear I’m thinking of moving house, take all your money out the bank and store it under your mattress….
What publications do you regularly read?
Beano. We get the Week Junior (educational) and the Beano (fun) delivered each week. No prizes for guessing which one gets read first!
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?
Riding my bike or walking the dog. Preferably up a mountain.
Before working at Bespoke, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I’ve worked in IT since graduating from university (last millennium, as my children like to point out). I’ve had some interesting jobs and worked with some great people. Probably the most rewarding was working in the nonprofit sector where you could see the solutions deployed were going to make the organisations more efficient or reach a larger audience, for example I’ve worked on a project for teams providing medical advice in developing countries, and fundraising CRM projects for charities researching certain medical conditions, or providing support for those impacted. I have a huge respect for those on the front line of those organisations, and being involved in those projects makes it seem well worth it when someone is going to benefit hugely from the output.
What are 3 words to describe Bespoke?
Bike.vets.wizard. Those words were all in the answers above, and its our what3words address for the Manchester office! Well, at least the nearest 3m square that uses words I could weave into my answers. I struggled a bit with woke.potato.topic – I’m more a pasta aficionado, potatoes are just fries that haven’t achieved their goals.
What is the best holiday you have ever been on?
About 15 years ago, my wife and I decided to take a year out. We were both 30 at the time without a family, and it seemed as good a time as any. We sold our house, bought two rucksacks and set off to South America. We trekked for a few months and spent some time in Patagonia, a place where I had always wanted to go. Then we cycled around (literally) New Zealand, learnt scuba diving in Australia, and backpacked around South East Asia. All told we were out of the country for 10 months. We’ve just about paid off the bills now!
How do you define success?
We’ve got big ambitions at Bespoke. I want to look back in three years time and have helped grow the team and firmly establish our reputation as the Power Platform Experts. At an individual level, I want to continue learning, have fun, sometimes do something scary. Ultimately, success for me is doing the best I can, and helping others be the best possible version of themselves.
If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
So we’ve invented time travel, right? In which case lets not limit ourselves and say Shakespeare at the Globe, or 1066. Let’s go way back. If you want a specific event, that day when the Ichthyosaur perished near Charmouth in the early Jurassic (about 190m years ago). Who wouldn’t want to see dinosaurs?!?
What do you think are the biggest exciting changes that will affect the industry in the foreseeable future?
I think we’re heading towards pro devs writing platforms which allow low code devs and citizen devs to rapidly build and deploy solutions. With that capability, the right methodologies, approaches and governance are going to be key.
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