We know better than most how important it is to grow and change in order to succeed. Future supports anyone who wants to learn a new skill set in order to improve themselves, as long as you have what it takes to succeed with that new team. Meet a member of our Dev Team, who rose to the occasion and changed his own life.
Kwesi Byrd has experienced a lot of change lately. The former graduate developer at Future is finally a full-fledged developer at the company, having been taken on at Future directly after finishing up a graduate program at Plymouth University. After spending years in the financial and banking sectors, he was ready for a change.
“I started to think about what I really wanted to do with my life and nobody really wakes up and says they want to work in a bank,” he said. Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kwesi was surrounded by tech, so it seemed only right that he should end up at Future surrounded by people constantly working with the latest gadgets working in development.
Despite his lack of professional experience in computer science (he said he had “no concept of what it was to be a professional developer” before he actually started working, which is why he enrolled in a conversion masters program), he was still hired by Future. Luckily, he says the company was “very accomodating” despite this fact, and he’s learned quite a lot on the job as a part of the web platform team, whether it’s tackling problems in the Vanilla content management system or talking to people who handle the servers and learning about how that end of the department works.
“Being around so many smart people who love what they do is inspiring,” he said. “Just being around it and picking stuff up on the fly and talking with people in different areas of tech — we really have a culture of continuous learning.”
When he’s not on a quest to to learn more about development and the technology that is at the core of the company, he has another important role. As the Bath Culture Committee Lead he is responsible for helping plan parties across the Bath office. It’s a role that seemingly takes him in the opposite direction of solving coding problems, but that has also been a learning experience. He started as just a member of the committee but after the previous lead stepped down, he took up the mantle and has been the head ever since. That also required some adjustment, but he says he has a better feel for the position now, and will stay in charge for the foreseeable future.
The committee is responsible for planning parties (he said that the summer party couldn’t have been held on a better day, impressive considering U.K. weather) but also projects that improve employee satisfaction; things like recycling initiatives and making food waste bins in the office easier to understand.
“I enjoy that happiness [from] whoever goes to the big parties and how they feel and just the little things we do around the office,” he said.
He’s only been at Future for two years, but he appreciates the flexibility of both his schedule and how the company has accommodated life changes. Back when he was interviewing for the job he had to postpone for medical reasons, and he was told to take the time he needed. Considering most of us would probably be scared to ask this when in the running for a job, this was a relief.
“I really appreciated that time and that flexibility… and that attitude is also why I’ve stayed. They realize we’re humans and sometimes things come up.”
So whatever comes his way, whether it’s at Future or not, he’ll at least be ready.