Levelling up!

Author: Andy Hartwell

We are a few months away from our 10-year anniversary as a limited company.

Growing a company over the past ten years has not been without its share of challenges. Our focus has been in building and maintaining our reputation by delivering high quality projects in the sectors we are passionate about. It’s fair to say we’ve never been riding aboard a gravy train. Despite this, we’ve always retained a commitment to our focus. We approach growth with vigilance and will, on occasion, turn down work that we feel doesn’t fit us, rather than grow to accommodate projects that we are not comfortable with.

Our tenacious grip on a vision for Substrakt has now led us to the point where we’ve earned good kudos for our work. In recent months our stable of clients in the Cultural sector, specifically performing arts venues, has increased dramatically (wheyyyy). In addition, we’ve been following exciting and challenging opportunities to do some fairly ground-breaking work in the Health sector.

We’ve therefore been on a bit of a growth spurt, which looks to be continuing, so it gives me great pride to introduce our most recent additions to Team Substrakt at an exciting time in the company’s history:

Although it feels like he’s now been here for ages, Ash Mann came onboard as our Strategic Director at the start of this year and kick-started our growth. Ash was previously on the other side of the fence, working in-house at creative and cultural organisations so has helped us to further improve our insight and offering to the sector. He introduced himself back in Jan with a journal post (https://substrakt.com/digital-culture-report-2015-digested/)

Daniel Alcorn joined us early March as a UX/UI designer and front-end developer. Dan is a very talented designer, so will be ensuring we continue to maintain the level of website interface design we’re always striving to achieve. Doing his bit for the creative community and for Birmingham, Dan runs a meetup group called Badego.

In order to fully get to grips with the health opportunity, we needed a top notch Ruby on Rails developer. Sam Knight fitted the bill and started with us late March. As a bonus, Sam had good experience with agile project management, which we adopted early on for the health work and have more recently been rolling out to the cultural work too, so he’s been helping us get that in place.

We’ve welcomed Abbid Meghjee today as a senior PHP developer. He will be working with Stu and Lee, using object-oriented and test driven principles to build our WordPress websites. Having developed, released and maintained several plugins for WordPress, Abbid will also be helping to form our technical strategy for development and supporting our contributions to the open source community.

Due to start with us end of May, Scott Whitehouse will be Head of Technical Delivery. We met Scott through our work with Birmingham Hippodrome, where he is Business Systems Manager. Scott will bring in-depth insight, experience and strategic direction to our work with Tessitura (the system that powers several of our clients in the Cultural sector). A large part of his role will be in the planning, management and delivery oversight for our Cultural web projects. Apologies again to Birmingham Hippodrome, who have lost a good asset but Scott will continue to support our relationship and maintain his strong links in the Tessitura community.

That’s all for now, although we do have another developer starting August who we’ll introduce nearer the time.