Working with me

Working with me
Coach Beard is a wise man (even if he was technically quoting Ted).

Everyone is different and likes to work in a different way. After all, that's what makes work interesting! Here are some things to know about me and how I work.

I've already covered the Getting to Know You sessions at Unmind. There's also an excellent article on "How to work with me" manuals by The Remote Company here.

Feel free to adapt this format for yourself or your own team. I've created a Notion page that you can duplicate here.

I've used a bullet-pointed style, but you can have some fun with this and use gifs, emojis or full-on paragraphs - whatever works for you.

Communication Style

  • Still working on developing it!
  • Often more formalised than I'd like to get my point across.
  • I envy those who can use emojis effectively!
  • I tend to be selective in my wording.
  • More than anything, I try to be kind.
  • I'm always interested in how someone is doing and view communication as more than just getting my point across but also a way to connect.


  • I like to receive feedback as soon as possible and in whatever format is most comfortable for the person giving the feedback.
  • I subscribe to the adage that feedback is a gift - I'm always grateful for it no matter what the feedback is.
  • I'll often ask follow-up questions to get more information. It's always about how I can improve and never an interrogation.

How I Like To Work

  • I focus better in the office, so I prefer hybrid environments.
  • (I'm fully aware that everyone is different on this, so keen not to impose it on others!)
  • I work well with pairing, TDD and Extreme Programming, but I'm keen not to be dogmatic about them.
  • I'm quite happy to switch between programming languages.
  • Really great teams are founded on communication.
  • Great products come from humility and a plurality of ideas and perspectives.
  • I'll happily use Slack rather than email, but I'll try to adapt my communication methods to whichever someone prefers.
  • I'm convinced that instant messaging isn't instant(!), so I never expect immediate replies.

Code vs Management

Code is easy. People are challenging.
– a previous manager of mine
  • I find people fascinating! I'm keen to support my teams as much as I can.
  • I've been lucky to have some terrific managers, and I want to provide that same support to my teams.
  • I tend to err towards management rather than code, but I like to retain some technical knowledge and perspective.

Speed vs Quality

  • Speed of delivery and quality of code aren't two concepts that are necessarily opposed.
  • I think it's possible to have both with good practices such as testing and a rapid CI/CD iterative process.

What I'm Good At

  • Passionate about a servant leadership mindset and an empathetic style of management.
  • Practical in delivery, focusing on the product as a whole and lean development.
  • Testing and pairing practices.
  • I'm very open when it comes to career discussions and happy to give any and all advice that I can.

What I'm Working On Getting Better At

  • Always striving to get better at communication. In particular, I want to get better at leading with candour in what I say (and not veer towards "Ruinous Empathy"). I recently read Leadership is Language by David Marquet which is tremendously helpful, and trying to develop how I ask and phrase questions.
  • I try to keep up-to-date on technical areas, but it's impossible to track everything. Recently I've been experimenting with Svelte and trying to learn more Typescript.
  • I'd like to learn more about strategy and higher-level engineering management.

Outside Of Work

  • I discovered 3D printing during the pandemic, and wish I'd discovered it sooner!
  • I'm a Manchester City fan (and always have been, meaning I remember the Alan Ball years!)
  • Fan of Marvel movies, Star Wars and Ted Lasso.
Prusa Mini+ 3D-printer with blue components
My 3D printer - a modified Prusa Mini+

Traits Related To My Background

  • I come from a very stereotypical nuclear family background and know that I was very lucky with my upbringing.
  • To steal a phrase of my grandfather's, "I'm a simple soul and I've led a sheltered life"*, so I'm always seeking to get other people's perspectives.
  • I'm always looking to learn, whether it's about code, people or cultures.

* Given my grandfather served in World War II, this wasn't really true! | @robl |