As 15below expanded further I moved into the gap in the product area. Starting off with product ownership in agile processes. I backed this up with a certificate in Technology Management , which included a brilliant course on Innovation. To round out with more business skills I also did the CORe course from Harvard Business School extension.This period of experience gave me the confidence to create Bashfully with a colleague as a side project to further develop our skills ... and help you!
While developing my product management skills I have also kept abreast of technical developments. Some of what I learn here I then take into my day job. Here is where I keep up-to-date with my interest in AI, data science, and ethics.
As a natural development from being a developer in a small company I moved from being tech lead on projects to being its project manager. During this time I also gain PRINCE2 foundation and attended an Agile for Leaders course. I learned a lot about communication here during my time setting up an office in Melbourne. I also rekindled an interest in visual storytelling, doing various evening classes in photography and a motion picture production course.
After graduating I joined Atkins full time in their Management Consultancy business unit, working on some interesting infrastructure projects. Being the home of PRINCE2 this gave me a really good insight into document workflows on massive projects. Going to 15below was a change in scale, but allowed me to develop my craft ... although I did miss Unix! During this time I also had a side project creating a CMS in Perl.
I started off my journey into software development after initially wanting to be a theoretical physicist. I started with VB3 on Windows 3.1 and C++ in DOS. During University I branched out into Java, Prolog, and Matlab. My industrial placement at Atkins allowed me to develop these skills in a commercial environment, along with documentation and source control.
Blog posts for 15below during this time:
Reporting to the Production Services Manager:
Secondment to Melbourne to assist in setting up 15below’s first overseas office to support their Asia Pacific clients.
Continued support to the UK office providing solutions to complex technical issues on project work there.
Project management and requirements gathering for local projects and Australian hours escalation point for the support team.
Both roles allow me to look beyond an immediate task at hand to the wider business and then how we can increase business value. Highlights include:
Help Desk Agent/Service Support
On site at Mitsubishi Finance, Broadgate, London.
Duties included creating Microsoft Excel 5 spreadsheets with VBA code for data entry and asset management.
Duties included helping new students familiarise themselves with the Unix terminals and system demonstrations.
Publications: Chalk, N (2005) “Mining project information using storytelling” in Proceedings of the 23rd IASTED International Conference on Databases and Applications, Innsbruck, Austria. February 14-16, 2005.
Wanting to cut through the hype about blockchain and learn how it can be applied beyond cryptocurrencies I took a couple of hands-on IBM courses. IBM Blockchain Essentials
I have also applied this to my day job, with a guest post on the 15below Tech Take blog taking a look at how the Travel Industry could benefit from this technology.
HBX CORe (Credential of Readiness) is a 120-150 hour certificate program on the fundamentals of business from Harvard Business School. CORe is comprised of three courses - Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting – developed by leading Harvard Business School faculty and delivered in an active learning environment based on the HBS signature case-based learning model.
Read more on my HBX blog post
What I learned:
Three courses that gave me a solid foundation into the business side of managing software development processes.
An overview course on using impact mapping to drive changes in behaviour that have business benefit, run by Gojko Adzic and Dave Evans.
Building on my existing PGCert in Technology Management, starting with the module T849 - Strategic capabilities for technological innovation
A film course that covered screen writing, editing, shooting with 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm film as well as HD digital.
An interdisciplinary course covering Computer Science, Linguistics, Philosophy and Psychology courses.
3rd year project: “SCARGIL: Data Mining using the Genetic Methods” produced a system that took a dataset and after a period of induction using evolutionary computing output classification rules. The program was given a dataset of DNA, which it then used to produce a model, to make protein splice site predictions. This project allowed me to develop my skills in cutting through domain knowledge, where I was not a domain expert, and solve the key problem presented.
Postgraduate courses in Computing and ICT, 2001 - 2004
Postgraduate Modules passed:
Book version of my blog with extra content, updates based on more recent experience, and professional editing. This is focused around my journey becoming a technical product manager with anecdotes and tips to help others - especially developers! - on the same journey.
Product Lead, Elixir, Heroku, Gitlab CI · Market research, product fit, UX design, HTML, copywriting
Project to help students and recent graduates create awesome online profiles. Bashfully will shake up the traditional online resume.
Connect with me on AngelList to collaborate on side projects.
As p art of a team of four took on the Gurkhas in the Trailwalker. The Trailwalker is an unforgettable endurance challenge to get your team of four 100km across the South Downs in under 30 hours. Is it tough? Of course. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
We raised over £1,500 for charities in Nepal.
Not only the first Brighton Marathon but also my first marathon. This was really the start of my love of running. Learned a lot about arbitrary goals, motivation, and managing performance. In 2017 I did my second and, building on experience since the first one, learned about linking arbitrary goals to deliberate training and practice. A skill that I have also applied to my work life - and inspired this blog post.
I raised over £250 for Cancer research.
A side project that allowed me to practice my skills using Perl and Subversion. CosMoS was a simple content management system that had a user permission model, image gallery, and HMTL content that could be moved around in the site hierarchy.