Episode 202 – Find Work That Fits Your Values and Leads to Progression with Simon Prior

 In Podcasts

Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Simon Prior. Simon is the QA Programme Manager at Camelot which is the home of the UK’s National Lottery. He has previously worked as a developer, build engineer, scrum master, QA engineer and QA manager.

He regularly gives talks on testing and IT in schools and universities and he’s also the host of the Aylesbury Testing Gathering.

In this episode, Phil and Simon Prior discuss the role work culture plays in career success. They talk through how dangerous working too hard is and how to get the balance right. Simon and Phil discuss QA and testing and talk about how getting it right ensures the creation of the best products.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

(2.48) TOP CAREER TIP

Define your personal values and stick to them. For example, Simon believes that nurturing and empowering his team is important. He also strongly believes that testing should be done from the very beginning of a project.

For him, those are both critical. So, he would not want to work somewhere this way of working was not a part of the culture.

 

(4.28) WORST CAREER MOMENT

At one point, Simon ended up working virtually every hour of the day shifts and spending most of the night reading work emails. Understandably, the stress became too much and he ended up collapsing in front of his kids, during breakfast.

He hired someone to co-ordinate the two teams he was running and changed his work balance. Simon now works for a family-focused company. Plus, most of his work is completed during daylight hours.

(7.10) CAREER HIGHLIGHT

Simon feels that he is currently living his career highlight. Becoming the QA programme manager for Camelot is something Simon enjoys. It is also a step up career wise.

 

(10.06) THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T

The way technology is developing means that the variety of opportunities is huge and growing. Right now, machine learning and AI are both fascinating areas, right now. IT is now far more exciting, so it is becoming easier to get young people interested.

 

(13.16) THE REVEAL

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – Simon was very good at maths; something that made it easy for him to have a career in I.T.

What’s the best career advice you received? – If you want to move on find your replacement and train them effectively.

What’s the worst career advice you received? – Stay with one company for life.

What would you do if you started your career now? – Simon would get into testing, straight away.

What are your current career objectives? – Now that he has taken on a senior management role Simon is primarily working on being an effective leader.

What’s your number one non-technical skill? – Knowing what information should go in which direction. It makes you a far more effective communicator.

How do you keep your own career energized? – Simon reads at least one blog per day and is part of a slack group.

What do you do away from technology? – He spends a lot of time with his children. He runs, writes and is a Peterborough football fan.

 

(18.41) FINAL CAREER TIP

If something feels uncomfortable, move on. There are plenty of opportunities available elsewhere, so don’t just stick it out and stall your career.

 

BEST MOMENTS

(3.30) – Simon – “Define your personal values and stick to them when looking for work.”

(3.52) – Simon – “From the moment a project is conceptualized someone with a testing mindset needs to be involved.”

(9.08) – Simon – “Ensure that you are building the right product. Not just that you’ve built the product right.”

(14.49) – Simon – “If things don’t feel right, don’t be afraid to make a change.”

(17.02) – Simon – “Communicate effectively by tailoring the information you share to each one of your audiences.”

(18.51) – Simon – “If you’re not getting the chance to progress, see what else is available.”

 

ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.

 

CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philtechcareer

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philburgess

Facebook: https://facebook.com/philtechcareer

Instagram: https://instagram.com/philtechcareer

Website: https://itcareerenergizer.com/contact

Phil is also reachable by email at [email protected] and via the podcast’s website, https://itcareerenergizer.com

Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer

 

ABOUT THE GUEST – SIMON PRIOR

Simon Prior is the QA Programme Manager at Camelot which is the home of the UK’s National Lottery. He has previously worked as a developer, build engineer, scrum master, QA engineer and QA manager.

He regularly gives talks on testing and IT in schools and universities and he’s also the host of the Aylesbury Testing Gathering.

 

CONTACT THE GUEST – SIMON PRIOR

Simon Prior can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/siprior

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simon-prior-0499372/

Personal Blog: https://priorsworld.wordpress.com/

Testing Peers: https://testingpeers.wordpress.com

QA Posts: http://camelotgroup.co.uk/careers/blog/qa-at-camelot

CultureCon: https://www.culturecon.io/

Excellence in Leadership: https://www.excellence-leadership.com/

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