Steve joined Commerce Decisions in 2007 as a consultant, when he started working in the Services team and was excited to be a part of what was then a small start-up company.
Over the last 14 years, Steve has taken advantage of the opportunity to broaden his skills and develop his career within the company and is now a Principal Software Developer.
What was behind your decision to make the move to a different role?
I joined Commerce Decisions as a consultant and worked in the role for about five years with a range of great customers. I loved the job which involved implementing a wide variety of projects and helping customers to get the best results from our AWARD® solution. However, as I’d worked as a consultant for most of my career, I was eager to return to my original passion: software development. Fortunately, that opportunity became available and I took up a role in the Development team. This was a great career move for me and I’ve never looked back.
What are your main responsibilities in your current role?
As Principal Software Developer in the team, my day-to-day responsibilities are quite varied. A major component of the role is developing and maintaining Commerce Decisions’ wide range of products. I also spend time working on the design of new features and supporting other members of the team.
What are your current priorities?
At the moment, my focus is on exploring the latest technologies and looking at new methods of working within the Development team. Software development, like most things, is continually evolving and we’re continually looking at new ways we can develop our products and offerings and how we can deliver these to our customers. This is an exciting time with lots of opportunities.
Which elements of your current role do you particularly enjoy and why?
Well, I love the coding! But I do also enjoy the design aspect of software – thinking about how our products are used and what will make for a great experience for our customers.
What do you enjoy most about working at Commerce Decisions?
The team… It’s a great team of people to work with and a very interesting and diverse range of projects to get excited about.
What’s your background?
When I left University, I joined the MOD as a Scientific Officer, writing software. I then moved to Intergraph Public Safety, a company providing command and control software, primarily to public safety providers such as police, fire and ambulance. As a consultant, I installed and supported 999 systems for police forces around the UK, and later, moving to the US, 911 systems for the emergency centres in Mesa, Arizona and then San Diego, California.
What’s the best advice you were given? Who was it from?
During my early days with Intergraph, we were migrating a customer to a new version of the product. This involved replacing all the hardware, networking and software – all having to be done while the call takers were taking 999 calls which was incredibly stressful. My boss reminded me that we had made our plans, we’d run through the plan and we had a contingency plan, so to focus on the one task in front of us. I frequently come back to that advice and always make a plan, work through the plan and always have a contingency.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Coding! I love to code and am always working on a new app idea, mainly iOS, I am definitely an Apple fan boy! We recently moved to the West Wales coast just hours before the Welsh firebreak lockdown went into effect, so there’s been lots of DIY to keep me busy. And living so close to the sea now, we’re discovering the joys of beach and costal path walks. Other than that, I’m a huge reader of science fiction and always have a book on the go and several waiting to be read.
What one new skill or hobby are you focusing on now and why is it important?
I’ve played guitar on and off for most of my life… probably more off than on. But as so many others have found, the past year, lockdown and working from home full time, makes you reassess where you invest your time. So, every day after work, I now do an online guitar lesson which is great fun and helps me to relax.
If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?
Having just moved to Wales, if I could snap my fingers and learn Welsh that would be great!