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Robert Chipperfield
Software Engineer

When did you join Red Gate?

September 2006

What was your first ever job?

Selling Power Kites in a shop in London. It also involved spending quite a few hours untangling kite lines, which is more therapeutic than it sounds.

Before you arrived at Red Gate what did you do?

I was at Cambridge University, studying Computer Science.

What does your job involve on a day-to-day basis?

It's quite varied – from designing and coding brand new software, to working on our existing products to make sure they fulfil as many of our customers' needs as possible, to helping out customers when things don't quite go according to plan. And shooting people with Nerf guns.

What do you like about working in Software Development at Red Gate?

It's fantastic being a part of the whole lifecycle of products – from coming up with the initial ideas, prototyping them, developing them into a real product, to seeing it shipped and in use on people's systems.

Another great aspect is the team you work with – you're not stuck in an office on your own; you work very closely with everyone involved in the project the whole time. Other developers, testers, User Experience and Technical Communications specialists, and those on the "business" side – there's no concept of "us and them"; everyone works together.

Complete the following sentence: I know everything there is to know about...

Sadly, nothing! But more than I'd probably like to about the Microsoft Exchange APIs.

What's your favourite book?

Not sure I have one – I enjoy reading John Grisham's books when I get the chance, but that's not very often. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely is also a pretty cool read.

What super power do you wish you had (or have but aren't telling anyone because that's the point of being super)?

The ability to clone myself and be doing two things at once. There are too many cool things to do, and not enough time to do them in.

Why did you choose Red Gate?

It was rather an accident, actually. I met James Moore at a University careers fair, and he invited me out for a curry – something you don't say no to as a student! After that, it seemed rude not to submit a CV, and it became pretty clear over dinner and at the following interviews that Red Gate was a place with some awesome people doing cool stuff. The rest, thankfully, is history.

What are your favourite Red Gate perks?

The free lunches are amazing – to have good quality food every lunchtime is unheard of in most companies, and to get it for free even more so! Really, though, it's not about the benefits themselves, but rather the whole culture and atmosphere around the office. Everyone enjoys what they do, and cares about what they produce, and that all adds up to a great company producing great products.

What's your most memorable Red Gate experience so far?

There have been many, but recently a team of four of us were sent away to a beautiful converted barn near Southwold, on the Suffolk coast. We turned the antique dining table into an office, and came up with an entire product, SQL Search, in five days.

We released it as a beta on our return, and after some more work from a team back in the office, it was released publicly and has since been downloaded over 20,000 times. It was certainly a week of hard work, but seeing something like that be such a success is amazing. We called the project 'Coding by the Sea'.

What's your stance on Marmite?

Love it.

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