Name: Bart Simpson
Job title: Senior Director, Operations
Location: Birmingham, UK
Years’ experience: 25 years
1. What time do you reach the office each day?
I like to try and get in for 8am each day to get ahead of the game before the office gets busy. For me, the extra hour is hugely valuable to catch up on anything which has happened overnight and also prepare for the day ahead.
2. Is your job varied?
Absolutely. That’s what I really love about my role. From speaking to developers about our products, to customers on their needs, or discussing our story with the marketing team, the variety is what I really enjoy.
3. Is your job creative?
Certainly – I believe my job is to help to clear the roadblocks and find solutions to move the business forward. In that sense, I have to be very creative in finding these solutions.
4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
I spend a lot of time with different people. It’s essential that I spend time communicating with a variety of team members and customers about key issues and challenges and how we can solve them.
5. Do you personalise your desk?
No I don’t. I don’t see the desk as the centre of my world. It’s just where I plug my laptop in.
6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
Yes, but creative in terms of problem solving. I enjoy thinking about solving problems laterally. One of the most interesting things in life is taking a step back to get perspective and trying something new.
7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
I do have a ritual of getting out of bed at 5.45am to walk the dogs. I used to be a habitual person for morning coffee, but I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a good ritual to have, more of an addictive habit.
8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
The vast majority of things I work on involve cross functional teams from our business and external organisations.
9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
In my opinion, it’s often not the hours in front of the computer, but thinking and reflecting which is most valuable for my role. I spend around 10 hours a day in a conventional working manner, but then spend additional time thinking about things away from the office.
10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
Probably 25% for each. The other 25% of my time is spent working on specific projects, working independently or in more informal one on one meetings.
11. Do you use social media much for work?
Twitter is the social media tool I find most valuable. For me, it enables you to broaden your view and be introduced to things you might not come across in your daily routine.
12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
Solving problems. Also, the variety. We work across a huge number of different business areas and also with customers from different industries, which certainly keeps things interesting.
13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
I don’t listen to music at work. I find it too distracting.
14. What do you do for lunch?
I grab a sandwich or salad for lunch each day. I have a bad habit of grabbing things and getting back to my desk, but I do try to meet with other teams over lunch to hear about what they are working on.
15. Do you socialise with work colleagues?
Yes – in particular, one of the great things about travelling with my role is that you get to spend time with people from the team and there isn’t a fixed agenda so you can talk about broader issues or discuss off the wall topics.
16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
The logistics of getting things organised – travel and basic business admin. Having help with these things is always wonderful.
17. What is your last task of your day?
As I am based in the UK and our parent company is in the US, my last job is often checking in with my colleagues abroad to make sure things have been dealt with before I log off for the evening.
18. How do you like to relax after work?
It is always great to get fresh air with the dogs or go cycling with the kids once I leave the office – I like to blow the cobwebs away.
19. Do you keep checking email through the evening?
No, I think in the 24/7 world it would be too easy to be on email all the time and it’s good to step away from it.
20. Do you take work projects home with you?
Yes, when I want to spend some quiet time on a task, it can be good to do it away from the office.
21. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
You spend so much of your life working, pick something you really enjoy so the work isn’t a chore, but a pleasure.
22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
I actually trained as an aeronautical engineer, so a day in a flying job would be something I would love to do.
23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
My OnePlus One smartphone.
24. Do you use your own personal device for work?
I do, yes. The OnePlus One.
PREVIOUS ARTICLE«Hortonworks CEO still bullish on Big Data prospects
Jon Collins’ in-depth look at tech and society
Phil Muncaster reports on China and beyond