My career started as a civil engineer when computers were just being starting to be brought into the workplace. At that time there were very few programs, so for every calculation for every project I would write my own program. I became more interested in the programming than in the engineering jobs that we were doing, so I decided to try and get into this new thing called ‘the internet’. I did a master’s degree in computer science, and then set about finding jobs in web agencies and digital agencies where I worked on some of the early eCommerce sites. From then on I moved around as a contract project manager for various agencies and firms in London, such as VSO, IOM3, Castrol and sky.com – which was a £6 million project.
What were your first few weeks like with Fasthosts?
I came to Fasthosts in 2014 as a contract project manager, and when the permanent position became available I took that opportunity. The first few weeks were very intense, I was getting to know a new team, a new way of working, a new product – which came to be known as Website Builder. For a project manager, there were various logistical difficulties that came with Website Builder. The head of product was in the United States so there were a lot of issues scheduling meetings. There was also a particular requirement to use the name ‘Website Builder’ for the new product, but it was also the name of the previous product, so we had to rebuild the purchasing of the old product, which was not straightforward.
One thing I love about being a project manager is that I get to meet everyone in the company
How has your career developed with us?
My job has changed since I started. I started off working on one project as a contractor, but when I became a permanent project manager more projects were added to my portfolio, so I now have a more general role. I’ve also led on project processes which is one of my interests – organisation and the flow of decision making from concept to delivery.
What motivates you to further your career with Fasthosts?
One thing I love about being a project manager is that I get to meet everyone in the company, from the person who’s taking the servers out of the polystyrene and slotting them into the racks, up to the financial directors, and the people who come over from our parent company. This comes with a lot of organisation, coordination and running about the firm – literally. I spend about a third of my time walking about and talking to people. I have friends throughout the firm because I have to liaise with a lot of people on the projects I work on, from infrastructure to delivery to marketing, and out of that comes quite strong relationships.
When you are managing a project that requires involvement from every aspect of the business, it’s both challenging and exciting. It doesn’t necessarily change what you do, but it means that you do get to appreciate all of the aspects of the business. People in some jobs are quite siloed and won’t appreciate what marketing, or infrastructure do, but when you spend a bit of time with everybody you can appreciate what the jobs entail and how that translates into the business processes and getting our products out there, and getting them sold.
Is there anything else you think might be of interest to new starters?
For a project manager who’s worked in the more specialist areas of web design, engineering or infrastructure for example, it would be a fantastic opportunity to broaden their knowledge, and get experience in large projects that run top to bottom – from delivering kit to selling it on the website. One of the things that’s appealing about working in IT is that they’re changing all the time, every three months there’s a new innovation, a new way of doing things, a new operating system, new processors, so all of those changes make it very exciting.
"One thing I love about being a project manager is that I get to meet everyone in the company"