Hana Tanimura - Google Creative Lab

Glug Profiles: Hana Tanimura, Senior Designer at Google Creative Lab

Glug Profiles: Hana Tanimura, Senior Designer at Google Creative Lab

As the recruitment partner of Glug
, we’ve collaborated with them to bring you the first instalment in a series of Glug Profiles. Here’s an opportunity for you to get an insight into Glug’s speakers. We speak to Hana Tanimura, Senior Designer at Google Creative Lab exploring the challenges she faces in her role and sharing the advice she has for others starting off their careers in the creative industry.
 
Hey Hana, why don’t you start by telling us a little about your role at Google?
 
I am a Senior Designer at Google Creative Lab in London, and I’ve been working here for about 4 and a half years now, in a small group of 28 people. Our role is to work across all of Google’s products and platforms and to imagine new ways to bring those products to life in unexpected ways.
 
On the one hand, we work with Google’s marketing teams to service the company’s existing products – from Chrome, to Search, to Youtube, etc. While on the other hand we also work on “innovation” projects, which could come out of the Lab, or in partnership with engineers, production partners, etc. But everything we do is with the hope of inspiring people to create great things with our technology and remind the world what it is it loves about Google.
 
Have you seen a huge evolution in the tech over this time at Google?
 
Yes, definitely. As a designer, I think I joined at a really interesting time. Google is a tech company first and foremost, and it wasn’t until about 6 or so years ago that it started taking visual design very seriously across the board. Most recently this new focus on design has affected the Google brand, with our new logo – and it has been interesting to see how the rebrand goes on to affect everything we do, including our products. Material Design has been a huge leap forward for us too. Smart technology and great design is an incredibly powerful combination… and I don’t think anyone in this industry underestimates the power of design anymore.

It must be challenging to cater for everyone’s needs when you have a product that is completely accessible to everyone?
 
Each of Google’s products is designed to be accessible to as many people as possible because the company’s philosophy is to make things for everyone. And, as you rightly mentioned, this can pose a lot of design challenges. When you have a small audience to cater for, it’s much easier to establish a clear understanding of that group’s needs, interests, behaviours, and preferences. When you’re designing something that’s intended for “everyone” – it’s a lot more difficult. But what this does is force us to be more disciplined about breaking complex things down into simple ones. Whenever we start a new project in the Lab, we try to articulate the core idea in 2 basic ways: in a sentence, and as a poster. If the poster is not so simple that a stranger would understand what it’s about just from walking by it, then it’s not simple enough. Until we’ve cracked that simplicity, we don’t start building.

I bet that really makes you think outside the box and explore things very creatively. How would you define creativity?
 
Good question! I would argue that there isn’t one, single definition of creativity. But for me personally, creativity has two layers. It starts with curiosity: a desire to learn and know about things outside of your current knowledge. And then the next layer is application: taking that knowledge, and expressing it in some way that you feel will carry a message and communicate to other people… My definition sounds complicated. [Laughs] It would not be allowed on a Google poster!

You get the opportunity to explore a range of different design disciplines in Creative Lab. Is job variety something that is really important to you?
 
Yes, variety is one of the most important things for me personally. It’s something that drew me to Google in the first place, and it’s definitely something that will keep me here for a long time.

There’s an expression that describes people as being “T-shaped”. It’s meant to describe people who have a core discipline, and expertise that run deep in that area – like design in my case for example. That core discipline forms the vertical axis of the letter “T”. And then, on the horizontal axis, you stretch out wide and touch loads of different subject areas, interests and skills. But those knowledge buckets are less profound than your core one. I don’t know a single creative person that this description doesn’t apply to, and who isn’t interested by other areas… So the challenge then becomes: how do you find a job that not only allows for, but also encourages you to explore those curiosities.

How highly do you value networking?
 
I think that, next to being a good person, working hard and having talent – it’s the most important thing you can do. And I think this is as true for people who are just starting out as it is for people who have been working for some years already.
 
It’s easy to get sucked into your own little world and allow the work you do to take up more importance than it should. But if you’re regularly exposing yourself to the wider industry, you’re able to see the things that you’re working on in a larger context. So yes – I think networking is important in terms of jobs, but also in terms of just… keeping perspective.

What advice do you have for people starting their careers in the creative industries?
 
Go to lots of events, learn as much as you can, and expose yourself to as many different companies who are doing interesting stuff as you can. Soak it all up, reflect on it all – but always hold on to who you are. Remember what gets you excited, what you care about, what you think is actually important, and find a way to make sure you never neglect that.
 
I’m not convinced that young creatives are encouraged, or given the opportunity to use their skills to make a positive impact in the world as often as they should be. I’d urge people to do it – to ask themselves what they can do, with all their intelligence and their talents, to make a difference. We’re more powerful and can have a much bigger impact than we might imagine.

Do you have any advice for building up resilience for when things don’t go to plan?
 
I wish there was a simple trick for that. But I think you just need to want to be good more than it hurts to be told that you’re not. It comes from within, you have to want to get better. People will tell you that you’re not good enough in a million ways along the way. Sometimes explicitly, sometimes subtly. Whenever this happens, you have to apply a little critical thinking and consider how much of it you want to take on.
 
Rarely someone has told me that something I made was shit, without there being at least some truth to what they were saying. So I never disregard criticism. Critique in creative can be hard to hear because we pour so much of ourselves into the work. But if you can learn that the stuff you make doesn’t define you, then it’s a lot easier, and you’re a lot more likely to grow and improve.
 
Finally, do you pursue any personal projects outside of work?
 
 As you will see in my talk, my main preoccupation outside of what I do as a designer is diversity. I’m driven to try to encourage people in positions of influence to incorporate diversity as part of their business, because they really believe in it, and not because they have a quota to meet. A “diverse” candidate could be someone who doesn’t have formal training, they could be a minority person of colour or just someone who had an unusual upbringing in some way… Hiring people with different backgrounds, who’ve had different life experiences, leads to better, more creative, more unique work.
Click here to find out more about Hana and her work with Google Creative Lab from her talk at Glug London or read the original article here.
 
We sponsor Glug because it’s a great environment for people to connect with one another and learn from others. Make sure you come and see us at an event if you’re after your next venture! We have plenty of digital and creative recruitment industry knowledge and experience to share.
Interview by: April Edgar
Hana Tanimura speaking at Glug London
 
 

Jacob McCulloch

Next stop for Austin Fraser? Berlin!

Jacob McCulloch, Sales Director, leads our second German expansion to Berlin!
 
We’re proud to announce in 2017 we’ll be launching a new office in Berlin. We want to continue to create new opportunities for our teams as well as providing a thorough offering for our clients in the North of Germany.
 
This expansion will be led by our Director, Jacob McCulloch, who says, “As one of the top tech cities in the world, Berlin is a rapidly growing market. We’re excited to be able to help more clients be part of this huge tech expansion and ensure they have the best talent to propel them forward. Austin Fraser has come a long way since we opened our German office just over three years ago, growing from a team of two to a truly national player.”
 
We have perfected the balance of great salespeople with a fantastic support team, we will recreate this again in Berlin.

 
We’ve spent four years building our presence and markets throughout the Bavarian region in Germany with a centralised base in Munich, venturing up to Berlin for several business opportunities, we are keen to build and maintain more of a presence there. We’ve created an incredible infrastructure of people who are continually pushing themselves and their colleagues around them. The environment we’ve created encourages everyone to strive to achieve. We have perfected the balance of great salespeople with a fantastic support team, this is a balance we will emulate again in Berlin.
 
Our people are vital to our success, one of our primary focuses in our 2020 vision is to continue to shape our business around them and enable them to travel, progress and diversify their careers. What this means is investing in our people and creating opportunities for them to develop both their skills and themselves in progressive roles and have the option to work internationally.
 
“We want our team to have a sense of limitless possibility.” Pete Hart, CEO
 
“We get under the skin of new geographies by investing in the local market, from the grassroots up, bringing in the best people on the ground, while also enabling our UK teams to make a real difference and fulfil professional ambitions. Creating exciting career opportunities for our people is as important as the commercial outcomes. We want our team to have that sense of limitless possibility. Our new Berlin venture is a major part of this story and we’re thrilled to be taking our offer to this rapidly growing market as well as giving our people the chance to work and live in this incredible city.” – Pete Hart, CEO.

Average coding salaries in Austin, Texas!

We collaborated with Austin Business Journal to provide the average salary bands for coders in Austin, Texas.

It’s no longer a secret — learning to code is now one of the most valuable career skills available.

If you have even the slightest interest in learning to code, you should first know what languages are out there. We compiled a short list of programming languages with a brief look at how well they pay and how hard they are to master:

The industry is overflowing with developer/engineer jobs and companies are struggling to find candidates with the necessary qualifications.
“People who learn to code really do begin to see the world differently,” said Kevin Newsum, Austin Community Manager for New York Code + Design Academy. “Not just in terms of the opportunities available to them, but also in their ability to affect real change, and think big for themselves and their communities. Learning code is a total game changer.”
Each language has it’s own unique following who are devoted to learning more. C++, Java, Python, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, and C# groups meet monthly to mentor and share ideas with one another.
For more information about how you can begin learning these languages, click here
*Average Austin salaries provided by James Lafferty of Austin Fraser

Are you investing in future management?

The importance of investing in future management

 
In order for a business to succeed it needs to have solid foundations of senior members of staff who have the knowledge and willingness to lead and develop teams to help push the business forward.
 
What happens when the good manager’s begin to hand in their notices, or retire? We typically go to job boards, post an advert or look for internal candidates and start the recruitment process. This brings us back to the issue of attracting the most talented and engaged candidates to fill these roles.
 
These traditional hiring methods are not always effective in terms of longevity due to the demographic of the market.  If we continue hiring from the very small pool of candidates that is currently available, we’ll effectively be recycling the same management throughout the industry.
 
We need to modernise our teams. We need to start thinking about are our future management.
 
One of my favourite examples of future management is one I featured in my previous blog, Brit Rocks – Women in Quarrying. I successfully introduced an Assistant Quarry Manager to a business in October 2015. This young woman has since been promoted to Quarry Manager and is highly spoken of by her peers and management. The business she’s joined genuinely believes she will positively contribute towards the continual development of the company.  
 
It’s reassuring to know that with time and commitment a junior member of management can make such a huge impact. Many businesses neglect to see the value in hiring junior members of management as they typically are not able to make an impact on the business immediately. However, this example shows that through the support of her business and her personal willingness she has found her feet and is excelling in her role.
 
I’m by no means saying that we shouldn’t employ people straight into managerial positions…that would be ludicrous! If you have a vacancy we need to recruit. However, what I am saying, is that whilst we have teams in full operation, it’s important to focus on bringing in skilled and determined candidates. These need to be people who have the ambition to develop into management but are also passionate about our sector. We need to create a team of potential managers who truly care.
 
This will create a cycle whereby great managers will create great teams. If the cycle is successful, these teams will then go on to create their own teams of future management through coaching and support. If we get people in early doors, who are eager to learn and determined to succeed, it puts us in the best possible position to enable this cycle.  
 

 
Stop thinking about the now, and consider the future. How can you utilise the strongest members of your team to help you, to create your next generation of management?.
 
Personally, I find these three hiring methods help my clients to identify the best candidates for said generation.

Assessment Centres
Open Days
Trainee Programmes

 
Throughout my career I have successfully introduced six future managers to various business via these methods. Having followed up with them all, it’s great to see that they are showcasing promising signs of a bright career ahead.  It’s prompted me to think about why other businesses aren’t focusing more effort on securing their future too.  
 
It’s all well and good now while we’re all fit and healthy and willing to manage our business, but why not start thinking about our successors?  These are the people we can to train and mould to ensure the continued success of our business after we’ve left.
 
I implore you to consider the importance your businesses’ demographic, and if hiring from a different pool of candidates could bring success to your business.  It’s time to start equipping our industry with the talent it needs to succeed in the future.  
 
If you want any further advice on a hiring strategy we’re always happy to help.
 
 

Conducting an interview? Are you prepared?

Here at Austin Fraser, we understand the necessity in obtaining and retaining the highest calibre of staff for our clients. We share our top three tips for interviewers based on interaction and feedback at a round-table talk that we hosted at the PHP Berkshire Meetup.

1. Always be prepared
First things first, it’s not just the candidate who should be preparing for an interview – remember the Scout motto “be prepared”. Preparation on your side is also crucial for a successful outcome. Your time is precious and the cost of a bad hire is one that you will want to avoid. You may have a widely sought after candidate on your hands, so you need to make sure that not only are they right for your role but that you are the right choice for them.

Conducting research on a candidate prior to an interview can make the world of difference. So where do you start? A quick scan over their social media pages can tell you a lot. It should help you begin to paint a picture of what your interviewee is like and whether or not they will be a good company fit.
Online portfolios are a great indicator of the investment someone has in their skills. Stack Overflow and GitHub are great for showcasing people’s personal projects outside of work, and a quick-fire way for you to judge their technical skills.

Research should be a two-way thing, so make sure that when it comes to the interview stage that your candidate has replicated your efforts by researching the company and the role in hand.

2. Use your time effectively
The interview process can be time consuming and as a manager, time is not something that comes in abundance, so make it count. Do not compromise the quality of your interviews, instead, consider how efficiently you can turn a potential hire into a new employee.

Kickstarting the interview process with a phone or video call is a great way of starting the interaction. You are able to get a general feel for what they’re like and whether or not they stand up against what they have written on paper. This method will take minimal time out of your day and will get the ball rolling.

Remember, an interview is your chance to make a great first impression, so the friendlier and more hospitable you can be, the better. Video conferences can create an extra dimension through face-to-face interaction. Video will help you pick up on character traits through body language that you may not have picked up over the phone. It will also give the candidate a more personable impression of the business.

3. Sell the dream
The constant evolving nature of the tech industry provides a nonstop demand for tech talent, with a speedy turnaround. This demand creates strict time constraints when sourcing the best talent, especially on a contractual basis. You need to act fast. Skilled contractors can be on and off the market within days and permanent employees tend to sign new contracts within two weeks of applying.

Once you have invested time, money and resources into the hiring process, you want to make sure it is a sure deal when you get to the point of offer. This is why it’s essential to establish a balance between the candidate selling themselves in and you selling the company to them. Highlighting company benefits such as training opportunities, a positive working environment and state of the art technology could help give you the edge over competing companies. People don’t just take the jobs they can do…they take the jobs they really want! Even if the candidate is not successful, you want them to want to work for you.
________________________________________________________________________
We pride ourselves on being consultative recruiters. If you’d like some further advice on how to alter your interview methods in order to optimise your results, please contact any of our specialist recruiters.
Josh Reeve is always on hand at the monthly PHP Berkshire meetups held at our offices in Reading. 
Contact Joshua Reeve:  +44(0)1189520159 – [email protected] – https://uk.linkedin.com/in/joshreeve

Agile SAP

Can the Agile methodology actually work in SAP?

Can the Agile methodology actually work in SAP?
It’s an age-old debate in the technology space, Agile vs Waterfall. We’ve all heard the arguments as to why each approach does or doesn’t work, particularly when it comes to the SAP sector, but is it time to embrace a more Agile approach in a bid to improve project success.
 
As someone who has been recruiting SAP and Agile professionals across the UK for more than 15 years and can see the value of both methodologies, I’ve noticed it’s a subject that continues to come up in my discussions across the SAP market.
 
I look around at my clients and very rarely does a project get delivered, on time, let alone on budget. In fact, did you know latest statistics show that projects above £10 million are successful only 10 per cent of the time, 52 per cent are challenged and 38 per cent fail!
Is Waterfall failing us? Are we ready to start accepting inevitable change or are we trying to ignore it?

SAP has traditionally run projects on Waterfall methodologies as we know, generally hybrid versions of Prince2 and there are strong historical reasons for this. During the time of R/3 in the early 90s, Waterfall-based software engineering frameworks were mostly taught to software professionals and subsequently adopted as ‘best practice’. This soon became the dominant way to implement configuration-driven package software.
 
This position was further entrenched by the release of SAP’s standardised approach ASAP (Accelerated SAP) in the late ’90s, which was adopted as the standard reference framework for SAP.

 
This started to change slowly after Agile became popularised in 2001 with the manifesto for Agile Software Development , created by frustrated software professionals.

Agile methods, until recently, were seen to be more applicable to bespoke software product development than ERP implementations.Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is business process management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources.

However, in the past 15 years or so, a small group of software development professionals found themselves in SAP projects and successfully implemented aspects of Agile techniques such as Xtreme Programming (XP) and Scrum in their SAP projects mostly ‘under the radar’ or hidden within a Waterfall framework, and it worked.

More positive openness towards Agile methods emerged when SAP AG itself started adopting Agile development around 2010, releasing Agile extensions to ASAP 8 as an integral part of SAP Solution Manager.

The feeling across a number of clients we have spoken to said that “There is definitely an element of concern that Agile adoption (at team and business levels) would be costly and take too much time,

“There is still a perception that Agile methods (jokingly referred to as ‘Agile Fragile’) is undisciplined, unplanned and inherently ungovernable because no one delivers any documentation and/or reports.

“This is far from the truth because in reality, Agile demands a lot of discipline, communication and collaboration from both the project management, business and the project team and in addition emphasises strong focus on quality and technical excellence.”

These statements led me to wonder, do we need to educate C-Suite stakeholders? Do companies and PMO managers need to start planning for a change into Agile?

Let’s look at the release of SAP HANA products. The ASAP Methodology in 2015 was transcended and replaced by the new SAP Activate methodology that now has Agile development at its core.

Is Agile SAP here to stay? And if so, as it seems to be, are many businesses putting their proverbial head in the sand?

Implementing and understanding Agile, just like anything else, is not a guilt-free salvation to your problems. Projects are by definition, disruptive, temporary and noisy. Organisations need to realise and acknowledge that whatever transition method they choose there will be disruption.
 
Agile transformation requires a serious mind-set change and strong focus and commitment. You need to adapt, adopt, use the right tool for the right job,
 
It seems to me, that as a sector, we need to look at the case job-by-job, rather than bringing forward the thinking ‘it’s the way we’ve done it before, and it’s the way we’ll do it again’.

Would you agree? I am open to hear your thoughts.

Shane Sale
is a specialist Principal consultant who also manages, the ‘Agile UK Networking group’, and the ‘SAP UK Networking Group’ Why not drop him a line at either 01189520156 or [email protected]

Simply the greatest…5 life lessons from Muhammad Ali

Simply the greatest…5 life lessons from Muhammad Ali
 
The late Muhammad Ali lead an incredibly successful life. Pursuing a lifelong dream as a world-class boxer.  However, he is not only renowned for his skill and success in the ring but also his life as a philanthropist and a social activist. Ali was not afraid to speak his mind, and the words he spoke have resonated with people across the world. Inspiring people to challenge the status quo and to persevere through hardships.

Admired by millions, this icon is the epitome of resilience, determination and hard work. These attributes were essential in creating an unrivalled boxing career which has left a legacy behind.
Here are some of favourite Muhammad Ali quotes that teach us lessons that we can all apply to our everyday!
 
1. “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

Trying to decide where you want your career to go can be daunting but it’s important to set yourself goals. Self assurance is key. If you don’t have confidence in yourself how can you expect anyone else to? Always stay focused on your end goal, whatever it may be, whether it’s getting your promotion, becoming a director or running your own company. The sky’s the limit and only you can determine how high you fly. There should be no reason why you shouldn’t achieve these, don’t get in your own way.
 
2. “Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

In order to succeed you need to find your personal drivers. What is it that is going to push you to achieve your goals and take you to the next level in your career? How will you know you’ve been successful? Establishing answers to these questions can help you keep track of your progress. Knowing what matters most to you will keep you on track and prevent you losing momentum, and keep you pushing for success.

3. “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

The importance of continuous learning and self development will never dull. Being open-minded will enable you to constantly try new things, learn new things and open you up to new experiences. This will benefit you in both your personal and working life and will ultimately affect the way you see the world.
 
4. “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

Although it may be difficult it is important to accept failure as part of you route to success. In order to remain competitive with your peers throughout your career, ‘fail quick and move on!’ Maintaining a positive mindset will determine your success.
 
5. “Live every day like it’s your last because someday you’re going to be right.” 

This is a humbling truth and one we are all guilty of taking for granted. Make sure you do something you love, something that makes you proud you are a part of. We spend approximately 45 years of our life working so make sure you’re doing something you love!
 
We’d love to know to know what your favourite Muhammad Ali quote is, let us know on our social media channels or comment below! 
Twitter: @AustinFraserLtd
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AustinFraserAF/#
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/austin-fraser
 

Nick tells us all about his charity bike ride for the MS Trust!

Nick cycled 320km from Paris to Reading in less than 24 hours with Pete Hart and they managed to raise over £5,000 for the MS Trust to support people who, like his mum, are living with MS as well as their families. 
Why I’m supporting the MS Trust…
When I was 14 years old my mum was diagnosed with MS and for the past seventeen years I have helped my family care for her as her condition has gradually deteriorated. My mum has been left wheelchair bound and recently spent 10 weeks in intensive care. I admire my mum’s strength and resilience, despite all she has been through, my mum has never been one to complain. I have experienced first-hand what it is like for both those diagnosed with the illness and their families and the positive impact that charities like the MS Trust can have. For this reason, I have always wanted to do my bit and fundraise for the MS Trust.
 
Who I’m supporting it with…
I have been working at Austin Fraser for the past five years and we’re always finding ways to give back to our local community through charitable events. Being the avid cyclist I am, I have co-organised 5 annual charity bike rides whilst working here, raising money for various local charities. This year I wanted the bike ride to be be the most challenging yet. We set ourself a new time challenge of 24 hours as opposed to spreading it out over two days, which we have done in previous years, to make the challenge that much harder.
 
Race preparation…
There was loads to do before we could even think about starting the bike ride! We designed custom bike gear, making sure the MS Trust logo was clearly visible so everyone knew who we were cycling for!
Although we may not admit it, it’s fair to say both myself and Pete, the CEO of Austin Fraser, are extremely competitive. So, I thought I’d put him through his paces before the actual ride as neither of us have cycled that far in one go before. We did some training locally and cycled to Windsor and back… of course, he was miles behind!
After a lot more training, rallying of support and the launch of our subwebsite www.onyourbikeAF.com we were almost ready to go! We decided to sync the website with our social media channels including a new one called Periscope. This meant we were able to stream live videos to give people a real-time insight into what we were doing!

When things got real…
As we began our journey at London to King’s Cross, St Pancras and boarded the Eurostar early on the Thursday morning, the anticipation and excitement growing in our stomachs! It wasn’t until we arrived at Gare du Nord, Paris and unloaded our bikes from the train, that I noticed a crack in my bike frame! I was scared the ride would be over for me before we’d even started!
We enjoyed lunch in Paris before made our way up the great Champs-Elysees, I definitely wouldn’t recommend cycling down the middle like I did…there were a few close shaves with oncoming traffic! We officially started our ride at the top underneath the Arc De Triomphe.
We gradually made our way out of the city and into the beautiful French countryside. The Avenue Verte is an iconic cycle route connecting the capitals Paris and London. It’s a route I’ve always wanted to ride and I’m so happy I had the chance to do it, especially for a cause so close to my heart!

Just over half way…
As we approached Dieppe, we had a few hours to spare before our ferry left so we decided to take a well earned rest and rent a hotel room about 5km from the port. We made the most of the brief time we had to shower and have a quick lie down…much to everyone’s amusement on our Periscope account. I think we forgot we’re watching us live!
Once on the ferry and making our way back to England we thought a nap would be a luxury…But unfortunately for me Pete fell asleep first and kept me up with his snoring all the way!

Homeward bound…
With our wheels firmly back on English soil we were looking forward to the final stretch of our ride! We cycled non-stop until we reached Guilford, where we stopped briefly to refuel with food and coffee. With only 30km of 320km left we found a new lease of life and sped home to Reading! The promise of a cold Peroni waiting for us at Carluccio’s also did wonders for our motivation! We were greeted outside our offices by all our colleagues who had lined our path back with balloons. Luckily my bike made it back in one piece!

Reflection…
It’s great to be able to say we made it back in under 24 hours and we hit our target of £5000! Not only did we raise over £5000 but we helped to raise awareness of the impact of MS and a great charity like the MS Trust. I’d like to personally thank everyone who spread the word and donated to our cause. Also, arriving home to a text saying Mum had been allowed home after a 10 week slog in hospital made for a fitting end to the day!
Depart: Champs-Élysées, Paris – Thursday – 14:30
Arrive: Austin Fraser HQ, Reading – Friday – 12:54
Elapsed Time: 23 hours, 26 minutes
Riding Time: 11 hours, 49 minutes
Average Speed: 26.75kph
Kilometers covered: 316.9
Vertical Meters Climbed: 2,372
Calories Burned: 6,577
 

We launch the first ‘Technology Chiefs Meetup’ in Munich!

The Technology Chiefs Meetup was a great success!

On Thursday we welcomed a group of CTOs, CIOs and technology leaders to the Austin Fraser offices in Munich for the first ever The Technology Chiefs Meetup. It was a great turn out with representatives from a diverse range of companies and industries. This diversity contributed to some interesting discussions and great networking opportunities.

Oliver Feige, CTO at notebooksbilliger.de AG, delivered an engaging and informative presentation on modernising IT-Architecture. This is such an important topic for any technology leader and feedback from the group was that it was really valuable for their daily business. Oliver did a great job of giving some practical advice and tips that can easily be implemented and make a positive impact. We would like to thank Oliver once more for taking the time to travel to Munich and share his experiences with the group.

Feeling inspired? If you have a topic you are passionate about and would like to share with a future Meetup please get in touch!

As true specialists, Austin Fraser is proud to be actively involved in the tech community. We work hard to ensure that we remain ahead of the curve and are always up to date on the latest industry trends. Our series of Meetup events is a chance to share this knowledge with our network and offer them a neutral space to discuss and interact with their peers.

We host a number of Meetups globally, including the UK, Munich and Austin, Texas. This is just the start for us and we are planning to launch community groups and events in other technology areas soon, watch this space…
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You can view more photos of the recent The Technology Chiefs Meetup and sign up for the next event here: http://www.meetup.com/de-DE/Technologie-Chiefs/events/230369675/
 

Technology Chiefs : A new Meetup for Technology Leaders in Munich!

We’re very excited to announce our new, exclusive Meetup group for CTOs, CIOs and technology leaders, The Technology Chiefs! This is an opportunity to bring together like-minded individuals from established and innovative businesses in the Munich area, giving them the space to connect and discuss best practises and coming advances in technology .
 
The first event will take place on Thursday 12th May at the Austin Fraser office in Munich. Mr Oliver Feige, CTO at notebooksbilliger.de AG, will give a interesting keynote presentation on Modernising IT Architektur. Oliver Feige has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, having worked for as a technology leader in companies such as Travian Games and FriendScout24. We are delighted to have Oliver join us on Thursday and are sure he will help make our first Technology Chiefs Meetup a success!
 
Limited places are still available: http://www.meetup.com/de-DE/Technologie-Chiefs/events/230369675/

Q&A with Pete and Nick!

Pete and Nick are both taking on the mammoth challenge of cycling from Paris to Reading in under 24 hours to raise money for the Ms Trust, a charity very close to our heart. Please help us smash our target by donating here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/AFbikeride2016
Name:
P: Pete Hart
N: Nick Clark
Job Title:
P: CEO
N: Web and Digital Team Leader
How many Charity bike rides have you done before?
P: 6! Birmingham to Reading, Cardiff to Reading, Dover to Reading, Exeter to Reading, Norwich to Reading and Manchester to Reading!
N: 4 or 5?
What is the furthest you have ever ridden?
P: 220 miles – from Manchester.
N: 306km in one hit – took 11 hours. Had a few 5 minute rests here and there to fill up water and shove food down my throat.
What do you use to motivate you through the hardest parts?
P: Getting home before it gets dark! Making sure everyone stays motivated and keeping a smile on their faces.
N: I enjoy the pain and suffering, and knowing it will be a great achievement when finished – and a bit of verbal abuse telling myself to “suck it up” usually works well.
What are you looking forward to?
P: The feeling of when we get back, there is nothing better than a pint of Peroni sat in Forbury Square.
N: Seeing Pete suffer haha! I’m actually really excited to ride on some great French pavé, and the Avenue Verte,
What are you dreading?
P: Keeping up with Nick, he is a machine.
N: If my Garmin GPS unit fails and we take a wrong turn! Or if our lights stop working in the evening.
Why are you doing this bike ride?
P: The core focus is to raise money for a great cause, it’s easy to consume yourself day to day, and stopping to think of others and ultimately having an impact is hugely satisfying.
N: To raise money for the MS Trust. We do a charity ride every year but I’ve always wanted to do something a little bit special to raise money and awareness of the MS Trust. My mother has had MS for 17 years.
What is your aim (time)?
P: Get within the 24 hours, if we could do it in 20 hours I would be over the moon.
N: My first aim is to get back within 24 hours. We will leave Paris at approximately 3pm on May 5th and aim to be back at Carluccio’s, Reading by 3pm on the 6th. We have an enforced Ferry crossing which will hopefully run smoothly with no delays. This is at 01:30-07:00.
Second aim will be to have the cycling only time under 13 hours. Which is around: 24kph / 15 mph. There is a few challenging hills so that would be a good effort. Also cycling through the night will slow the average down slightly.
Why have you chosen this route?
P: It is further than we have done before, another country gives it a twist and France is far enough!
N: For a good challenge, and to experience night cycling on some excellent French roads, especially the Avenue Verte (A tarmacked disused railway line that runs from Dieppe to Paris. 40 miles from Dieppe to Paris will be race bike worthy, the rest we will do on roads. The Parisians are renowned for being very accommodating of cyclists and have great roads which I am looking forward too.
What is your favourite motivational quote?
P: Who dares wins
N: Greg Henderson: “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
 

Austin Fraser Expand Their Agile Offering

 
Welcome to the team James Jordan!
 
With Austin Fraser’s continued growth into Agile technologies, we have hired James Jordan to help lead the Agile proposition for us working in the Permanent team. James will be working closely with Shane Sale to lead this pioneering change.
 
The roles James and Shane will focus on will include:
– Agile Project Managers
– Project Owners
– Agile Coaches
– Agile Business Analysts
– Scrum Masters
 
Agile will contribute towards more cohesion between our current recruitment markets, whilst allowing us to harness new skills and extend our offering to our clients. It allows us to work with businesses to focus on the bigger picture and successfully help them to progress and expand.
James has been in recruitment for 10 years, working predominantly working in the .Net market, as a proven leader he worked himself up to management level with 20+ recruiters reporting into him.
We are excited to have James on board, with his proven track record and with a collaborative working partnership with Shane, we are very excited about the growth of the Agile division.