Purple People is our regular ‘show and tell’ blog series where we interview Purple Crane staff members about their loves and hates, passions and pains. This week, software royalty, or is that chief cook and bottle washer? Company co-founder, Mr Chris Bond.
Name: Chris Bond
Job title: Software Developer
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-bond-9167732/
Q. What does your role involve? What are the key things you do for clients day to day?
A. We’re a small company and as one of the owners, my role includes doing a bit of just about everything: marketing, finance, hr, general admin, project management etc.
I also have to find time to do software development, as ultimately that’s what we do as a company. We’re a small team and it’s often all-hands-on-deck on projects. Also, I need to keep up with the ever changing technical landscape. But mainly because I want to – I am a software developer and like creating software for our customers.
Q. What do you consider to be your work-related strengths (technical or otherwise)? Just the top two or three would be great.
A. I think I’m able to understand and consider the ‘big picture’ in what we’re trying to achieve in a project. In software development it’s all too easy to get bogged down in the fine technical detail of the issue you’re currently working on. However, it’s important to be able to understand how and why each small piece fits in to the whole. That way you can make sure you’re focussing on and prioritising what’s important.
As one of the company’s owners I can be leading a project, but sometimes you also have to step back and encourage other team members take the lead and work as a member of the team.
Juggling - not the variety you see in a circus, although it sometimes feels like that! There are lots of projects going on, plus all the responsibilities of running a business and you need to be able to keep on top of everything and jump from high level to detail level. For example you could be going from a meeting discussing marketing strategy, straight into writing some code to pull data out of an API and put it into a database. It’s certainly sometimes difficult and a skill that you need to develop.
Q. Are there any technologies or approaches that you particularly enjoy working with? Any techie groups you belong to or projects you’re involved with or meet-ups you attend regularly?
A. Domain Driven Design is an approach I like and we’re keen to apply to our projects wherever possible and appropriate. It’s an approach to the design and construction of software that tries to keep the concepts, tasks, events and terminology of the business at the core. You then design a model around that and create an interface or API to that model that reflects the real life tasks using the terminology of the business domain.
Q. Are there any work-specific challenges that you particularly enjoy? i.e. what gives you a buzz?
A. The overriding challenge and buzz I get out of my work life is the ‘creative’ side of software development. You start off with an idea or set of problems, often scribbled on a bit of paper in the first instance, and you work with a skilled team to create and evolve a working system that helps people do their jobs. Creating a usable ‘thing’ from nothing but an idea…
Q. What was your last role prior to joining Purple Crane? What are the key skills, experience and insight it gave you that are relevant to your role today? (If there were additional roles that you feel are particularly significant in relation to your current work, please add them too.)
A. Prior to starting Purple Crane I also worked with Andy (co-founder of Purple Crane) for a tech start-up developing software that built a product in telecoms and law-enforcement. Prior to that, several software development roles in organisations large and small. So I had quite a good bit of software development experience under my belt prior to starting Purple Crane.
Q. How long have you been in the sector, what was your first role, and what initially attracted you to this line of work?
A. I’ve been in the sector my entire working life. My first role was as a computer operator for a life insurance company. That was in the days when you had to change tape reels and disk platters in a large air-conditioned mainframe computer room. As soon as I could though I moved into software development because programming was what got me interested whilst doing my A levels. Technology has clearly changed a lot in that time, so it’s a sector that keeps you on your toes and you’re constantly learning - you certainly can’t afford to not keep up with developments. But it also and lets you work with the latest relevant technologies and keeps it interesting.
Q. What relevant qualifications do you have?
A. I have a BSc Hons in Computer Systems for Business, so quite relevant really! Plus some related post-graduate level courses I’ve done through the years.
Q. Any interests or hobbies outside of work that you’d be happy to share?
A. I like running and other outdoor activities I can do in the UK, such as canoeing, cycling, bodyboarding, hiking. I love snowboarding when I can get to the mountains. Playing the guitar and enjoying all of these activities with my family, but it’s tricky when we try to do them all at the same time!
Q. And one last one… What do you value about your colleagues?
A. One of the best things about running your own company is having a great team of people to work with. We’ve definitely got that at Purple Crane – a group of highly motivated, dedicated, very skilled people who are a pleasure to work with.