We thought it would be interesting to run some blogs about the super people at Cloudhouse. We’re speaking to people across all our teams to find out a bit more about them, what their role is and what makes them tick. We also ask them to spill the beans on their worst IT fail… because it happens to the best of us!
Meet… Steve Carratt, Head of Engineering
When did you join Cloudhouse?
I joined straight from university as a new graduate in 2011. We were working on quite different sets of technology when I joined – the company has really evolved over this time.
Tell us a little about your career up to this point…
Apart from a nine-month break about five years ago, I have been at Cloudhouse for all my professional career.
When I first joined my work involved lots of hands-on coding. After my break I came back to a role in product management – but I wanted to stay technical, too, and I was still coding at that time. When the opportunity to be Head of Engineering came up in late 2019 I jumped at it: it was a great balance for me. I set out with a mission to make lives for engineers much easier and better than before!
What do you do at Cloudhouse?
As Head of Engineering, I manage a team of engineers located in the UK, Australia and the US. I really enjoying working on how we approach things as a team and how the team is organised, and although I am not necessarily coding every day, I am still technically involved in the decisions we are making. The team is growing as we as we expand the use cases for our Guardian product, and that’s going to be another exciting phase to work on. As a manager, I have put a lot of focus on encouraging team members to step up and take control of their areas of responsibility and gain autonomy over the way they work. I want everyone here to be motivated to work, not out of a sense of obligation but because they genuinely find it a great place to work, and they find the work that we are doing interesting and exciting. I find it very rewarding seeing more junior people pushing themselves and stretching themselves, especially when you see people going beyond expectations.
What’s the best thing about working at Cloudhouse?
For me I really love the flexibility of working here. It feels to me that all areas of how we work and the work that we are doing are open for discussion. If someone has an idea for how we could do something better, the communication is really open, and they are free to suggest these things – and often we take these ideas on and run with them. For example, we did a poll in the engineering team about how they wanted to work going forward. The ideal for people was two of three days a week at the new office so we can all have more social contact. It isn’t mandatory, but it’s there for people who want that and feel it would benefit them.
Most embarrassing IT moment
Maybe I have wiped it from my memory… I really can’t think of anything although I’m sure I have done some terrible things… oh I remember! I build my own computers in my spare time. I had assembled one and got to heart-in-mouth moment when you turn it on for the first time and pray it doesn’t explode. All was going well until I put the side of the case on, and it powered off again. I spent ages trouble-shooting. I even sent the motherboard back to the manufacturer asking them to test it: it was fine. After a few frustrating weeks trying to work it out it turned out it was just a loose power connection!
Favourite sandwich filling:
Can I have a cheese and ham toastie, please?
How do you take your tea?
Not too strong, not too weak and no sugar! Pretty regular! I don’t drink much tea, I’m more of a coffee drinker.
Cats or dogs?
Dogs. It’s not that I dislike cats, but dogs win for me, although I don’t have one at the moment. We would love to get one – my wife is a real dog lover – but we’re waiting until our children are a little older. We’d like a border terrier, or perhaps one of the poodle crosses that don’t moult.
Dream holiday destination:
I’d love to go for a tour of South America, do some mountaineering, take in the culture and the food and really immerse myself for many months. It’s definitely on my bucket list!