Working at Red Gate
A place to do great work
Divisional Manager, SQL Tools
When did you join Red Gate?July 2005
What was your first ever job?A waiter in a hotel in Somerset.
Before you arrived at Red Gate what did you do?I joined Red Gate straight out of University as a Graduate in Computer Science. Before university I had been heavily involved in the PHP project working on the execution engine, quality assurance and documentation. I also worked as a sales person, technical consultant, customer relations manager, ran the student union bar and co-authored a couple of books.
What does your job involve on a day-to-day basis?My role varies massively from day to day. Having a reasonably large team, much of my time is spent managing the team itself. This might be setting goals, reviewing strategy, giving feedback or just trying to sort out problems for members of the team. Facilitating discussion and debate in the team is also vital to my role. I need to use my understanding of the division and the company to help everyone join the dots in different parts of the business so they can achieve their goals. Finally, knowing when not to do something is nearly as important as knowing what to do.
What do you like about running a division at Red Gate?Quite simply being able to work with great people who are all trying to do something special. We don't always get it right but if we do make a mistake we try and learn from it rather than lay the blame somewhere.
My role within the team is to ensure that everyone in the division can do the best work of their lives and to do whatever it takes to make that happen. The thing I love most is to be able to sit at my desk, look around at the team and see people striving to do great work and enjoying doing it. If I can facilitate that then I have done my job well.
Complete the following sentence: I know everything there is to know about...Eastern Slovakian art and music between 28th Feb 1743 and Midday 1st March 1743.
What's your favourite book?It's hard to answer this one as it never stays the same!
With non-fiction books I've recently found re-reading Good to Great by Jim Collins inspiring and Ken Blanchard's Leading at a Higher Level is a great amalgamation, and more thorough examination, of the concepts in his previous prolific series of books (The One Minute Manager, Gung Ho etc).
I also try to read a fair amount of fiction. Recently, I've really enjoyed re-reading a lot of Orwell's works with 1984 still being incredibly relevant and thought provoking. One other book which I've read recently and stands out for me is On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan – his outstanding narrative and ability to capture and evoke feelings, in a book where very little "happens" makes him one of my favourite modern writers.
What super power do you wish you had (or have but aren't telling anyone because that's the point of being super)?The power to fix bugs on the first attempt.
Why did you choose Red Gate?It was a small company where I felt I could make a difference rather than being a cog in a large machine. I had been to quite a few interviews before I came to Red Gate. I came here and got pushed really hard at interview and I left with the impression that the guys here were really smart and I knew I could learn a lot at Red Gate.
What are your favourite Red Gate perks?Probably the nicest perk, from my point of view, is flexitime.
What's your most memorable Red Gate experience so far?Over the past five years there have been so many! Tradeshows are always special. I get to visit somewhere exciting with a group of people I might not know that well at the start of the week and by the end of the week I always seem to leave with a new group of friends from across the company and a real appreciation for the great work those people do for Red Gate.
Other experiences which stand out for me, and capture the spirit of Red Gate well, are days such as when a lorry pulled up outside of the office with a large flat-screen TV for everyone in the company because we hit a sales target and the CEOs wanted to share the success with everyone, not to mention the day we all went to the apple store and got given £300 each to spend!