Farewell Red Gate. Hello Automattic.

About 4 and a half years ago I was offered a job at a company I’d never heard of called Red Gate. I took it and soon found out that I’d been lucky enough to join a company that’s literally one of the best software companies to work for in the UK. As a bonus, Red Gate is based in the best place to live in the UK: Cambridge.

What I’m trying to say is that all in all it’s been a really great 4 and a half years. If you’re looking for a software job in the UK you’d be hard pressed to do better than Red Gate. Additionally I’ve been lucky enough to have done a wide variety of jobs there including web design, product design, team lead, head of UX, programme and project management and generally being a pain in the ass.

But now its time to move on. Late last year my (significantly) better half and I moved back to Malta (the place with 3K+ hours of sunshine a year!) and the next two weeks will be my last at Red Gate. Then, in mid-March I’ll be joining Automattic, the folks who make WordPress. As far as I can tell, it’ll be an even more awesome place to work. I plan to find time to write about my experience working there in the coming months.

So thank you for putting up with me Red Gate and farewell, I have a hunch we’ll meet again.

Hello Howdy Automattic, I’m looking forward to getting to know you :-)

Make sure to follow me on Twitter for updates.


Every 4 months or so at Red Gate we have something called “Down Tools Week” — a bit like FedEx days or Google’s 20% time thing.

A group of us (6 in total) led by the intrepid Dom decided to make the most awesome, unexpected, expensive and addictive 404 page ever.

Everything a 404 page is not, ours would be.

So what’s more unexpected than evil zombies, cute kittens and Colin? Yup, on Red Gate’s just launched 404 page you can find all of that in what we think is a simple but fun game to play!

Check it out and let us know what you think: http://www.red-gate.com/error/404

Thank you January. Welcome February…

“Surely as cometh the Winter, I know
There are Spring violets under the snow.”
–   R. H. Newell

January sneaked past and what started out as a lethargic post-holiday season month quickly turned into a fast-moving and exciting time.

The first month of 2010 brought welcome changes to personal and professional life. Finding and moving into a proper (and sweet!) house in a more central part of Cambridge was a great relief in more ways than one. Finally getting rid of an age-old company liquidation matter and other financial ghosts from the past is also a wonderful feeling. At work on the other hand things are just starting to become really interesting: a top secret UX project is underway, GoTestIt is finding its feet within Red Gate and most excitingly new e-commerce responsibilities have just magically fallen into my lap. Oh yes, and this little blog of mine keeps growing in popularity with now just under 3,000 monthly visitors. Woot! as somebody I know likes to say :-)

But what does February bring?

Well, first things first, it’s my birthday in February and this year it’s a big one. I will mostly be celebrating by popping up to Aberdeen (a mere 8 hours), bundling clothes, furniture and cat into a van and together with my better half finally making the move to Cambridge a little bit more permanent. Can’t think of a better birthday gift :-)

Apart from that though, some other interesting things are in the pipeline! Stephen Chambers (head of UX at Red Gate) and myself wrote a short position paper on UX within organisations which (Woot!) has now been accepted and we’ll therefore be presenting in London on the 25th Feb at BCS. (Details here.)

Neil Davidson also kindly put me in touch with the chaps at CUTEC with a view to moderating a session at this Innovation Session & Networking event. That’s on the 6th of March so make sure to pop around if in Cambridge then. Cool stuff.

And to start the month off on the right note, this week I’ll be getting my first free Red Gate massage. Like the SQL Servery wasn’t enough! If you want to get in on that sort of stuff, check out our fab vacancies and the unmatched list of benefits Red Gate offers.

Hope to see you soon!

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