Continuing our Staff Spotlight Series, we shine a light on the people behind Leighton O’Brien who make the company tick. We are pleased to announce this spotlight is shining on John Court!
Describe what you do and the best part of your job?
I’m a Principal Software Engineer at LOB, which means I design the major changes to the software platform that supports our Wetstock products including AMS, SIRA and Wetstock Live.
I help our developers to build those features in order to provide a benefit for our clients. This involves a lot of collaboration with our product managers; really crystallising what they want and why, then working with our developers who write the software, manage the databases, design the visualisations etc. I work to clear any roadblocks too, so changes can be implemented in a timely manner.
The best part about my job is getting the best out of our developers and seeing requirements translate into working software that improves the customer experience and provides tangible business benefits.
What’s been some of the biggest changes in your line of work that you’ve seen over the years?
I’ve been in software since 2003 and one of the big differences I’ve seen is how software development has changed from a niche and specialist area with little engagement to being a much more mainstream part of the business that staff want to understand and provide input into.
The other is the change to cloud-based subscription software/SAAS compared to locally installed and downloaded solutions.
What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
While I’ve only been with LOB for just over a year, we’ve been enhancing a lot of our processes for development and support focused on being repeatable and scalable that can be carried out quickly and efficiently. There’s a real emphasis on being a process-driven business focused on continuous improvement.
Prior to LOB I spent 10 years leading a team of developers that built an inventory management system for Openreach (British Telecom) in the UK, which was central to the national broadband rollout.
If you could write a book about your life, what would the title be and why?
Despite being far from an expert, I spent a lot of the last decade renovating old Scottish buildings, so maybe something about that – “Restoring Stone Buildings in Aberdeenshire – how not to do it”.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?
I do very much like rifle shooting, but I don’t get as much time on the range as I’d like, having a young family.
What’s the top destination on your must-visit list??
Being a Brit, I have not yet seen a duck billed platypus in the wild so I’d like to visit the Otway Ranges now that we are out of lockdown.
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