June 06, 2018
What's it like to be a Support, Test & Systems Manager at Squared Up?
Rigorous testing and high-quality support is what gives our product the edge, so we're incredibly lucky to have a team of hard-working and committed engineers in our Support, Test and Systems (STS) team.
We're also lucky to have a great leader at the helm of STS: Adam Kinniburgh, STS Manager. Read on to find out what Adam has to say about leading our STS team, what he likes about working for a small company, and why you have Adam to thank whenever you need to call 999!
How long have you worked at Squared Up?
Just over a year
Tell me a bit about your role and what your team does
I am the Manager of a team called STS, which is Support, Test and Systems. These teams are often separate, but here we combine them into one super-team because there’s a lot of skill crossover. We are responsible for customer support, testing all the code changes in the product coming from the Development team, and we look after all of our internal infrastructure.
What did you do before you worked here?
Before joining Squared Up, I lived in Guernsey in the Channel Islands, working for the government as the director of a transformation programme, redesigning how some public services were delivered. Prior to this, I worked as part of a team designing and setting up the world’s first joint 999 control centre for police, fire, ambulance, and coastguard.
What attracted you to Squared Up?
My career started to take shape about 10 years ago when I joined an IT start-up in London, where decisions could be made really quickly, the company values were central to everything we did, and the people were the heart of the business. In my experience, larger companies rarely achieve this. It took me no time at all to see that Squared Up had the start-up vibe that I liked working for and wanted to get back into.
What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Making time for our pipeline of projects is tricky – the team has a number of day-to-day, ongoing responsibilities that have to come first, where we provide services to other teams and customers, so when they’re busy we’re busy. This means that project work has to go on the back burner. We’re rarely in charge of our own time!
What do you like most about running a team?
The people that make up my team. I’m lucky as they’re a great bunch and they keep a smile on my face – and they knuckle down and get the job done.
What do you think makes a good manager?
One of the most important things to me as a manager is making sure that when I make a decision, my team are on board with it and they understand what is being asked of them. Words that come to mind when thinking about what makes a good manager are confident, approachable, communicative, patient and organised. I’m definitely a work in progress in most of these areas!
How has your career progressed since being at Squared Up?
I joined as STS Team Lead and have recently been promoted to STS Manager. As team lead my responsibility was making sure services were delivered. As manager, I now play a role in defining what the services are and how we deliver them, as well as just making sure they actually get done. I think the level of trust that has been invested in me in such a short period of time is quite a rarity in many companies.
What are your highlights from the past year at Squared Up?
Leading the technical side of our office move was a highlight. We went from a poky little office in Marlow to a glorious new sky palace in Maidenhead, equipped with a recording studio and other state-of-the-art technology. Another highlight was the cocktail evening we had in the office to wrap up the week while the team were out in Orlando for Microsoft Ignite!
What’s on the wish list for you for the next couple of years at Squared Up?
Bright orange Squared Up branded jet packs! And, on a more serious note, continuing to improve our customer service levels are a personal goal so I’m hoping to get out and about and meet our customers face to face.
What advice would you give to someone looking to move up into a team lead/manager role?
Be prepared to come to the harsh realisation that you don’t know anywhere near as much as you think you do and you aren’t right all the time! Being a manager means constantly learning, improving and evolving.
Fancy working in Adam's team? Great, you're in luck - we're looking for talented STS team members right now! Check out the vacancies here.