Matt Gosnell

Matt Gosnell, IT Director at Global Graphics Software

Here, Matt Gosnell, IT Director, tells us about life at Global Graphics Software:

What is your background?

I started my career in IT because my mother said I needed to get a job! I studied photographic and digital media at Anglia Ruskin University but had always had an interest in computers. As a child, my best friend’s dad was a computer engineer and playing games in the early 90’s was my childhood. By my late teens, I was building my own computers and was more interested in gaming and the digital side of my degree than being in the darkroom.

My first job in IT was at Bassingbourn Village College – I was the onsite technician who helped diagnose a variety of IT problems. It was a great start and I learnt a lot ‘on the job’. After a couple of years I moved on to an IT support company, where I would visit all kinds of companies for onsite assistance. Every day brought a new problem to solve. It was hard work but again I learnt a lot. In 2009 the excitement of a new environment each day wore off and I decided to make a jump to an internal IT department where I could make a difference long term, that’s when I joined Global Graphics Software.

What’s been your career path since joining Global Graphics Software?

I started working at a junior level in a team of four. After two years, I was promoted to manage the team. We were a much bigger company then and it was back in an era where you had to go to IT to get stuff done – it was a very busy department. I’ve since grown with the company, taking on more responsibility over the years and have been IT director for almost three years now.

Today, the company is very different; instead of having a single company to look after we also have our sister companies – so it’s a challenging environment. My goal is to try and achieve more consistency in IT among all the businesses.

What’s the best thing about working at Global Graphics Software?

For me the best thing about working here is that I’ve been given the opportunity to grow. I’ve always worked hard and strived to better myself and Global Graphics has encouraged me to do that. I’ve been on a fair few IT training courses over the years. Nowadays I try to go on a course once a year to keep my skills sharp.

What is the environment like?

It’s very friendly and has a flat management structure, i.e. we all sit amongst each other, whether management or not.

What is the most exciting thing about your work?

For me the most exciting thing is being at the forefront of IT technology. I have to keep abreast of technological change and how this can benefit the businesses that I represent.

Are there any big projects you’ve been involved with?

I’ve been involved in many big projects mainly because IT tends to be at the heart of the business. For example, we’ve moved offices, both in the UK and abroad, developed cloud and disaster recovery solutions, as well as integrated purchased business into the Global Graphics Group.

Do you take part in any social activities?

I’ve been part of the Global Graphics cycling group. We did quite a few London to Cambridge cycle rides. I also enjoy taking part in The Shed, a creative environment where we are free to work on projects to learn new skills. I am an active lead in my own project. and am currently building a temperature-controlled fan array using an Ardunio Uno. As a result I’m learning all about electronics!

What keeps you here?

My job has changed so much over the last ten years and this has meant I’ve never had time to get bored. I’ve been given more responsibility and the opportunity to progress, and of course IT has changed so much, it has kept me on my toes. I’m given plenty of support, but I’m also trusted to make decisions on my own.

I have the freedom to develop as I’ve still got a lot to learn about directing a business in its goals. As the company grows my role grows – I have more to manage. My aim is to continue to grow. I’m in control of where we’re going and that’s a positive for me.

Lesley Whitfield

Lesley Whitfield, software developer at Global Graphics Software

We chatted to Lesley Whitfield, software developer in our Wilmslow office, about her work at Global Graphics Software:

What is your background?

I was always interested in maths and science then discovered engineering at university, eventually ending up with an Open University degree in maths and electronics.

How did you come to work at Global Graphics Software?

I was looking for a new challenge after working on a smaller product.  Although I was also offered the opportunity at the time to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond, I chose the more technically interesting job at Global Graphics Software.

What were you doing before?

A whole range of jobs from stress analysis in the aerospace sector, instrument safety, embedded software for smart meters, to software for direct mail.  Before joining Global Graphics Software 18 years ago I tended to move on to something new every couple of years.

What’s the best thing about working at Global Graphics Software?

Working in a highly motivated and skilled team that is serious about doing the best possible job.

What has been your career path since joining Global Graphics Software?

I joined as a software developer helping out with our color management technology including some of the more mathematical aspects. Later I wrote the color interpretation code for XPS (one of the Page Description Languages we support), then was lucky enough to join the PCL team from the start. This allowed me to play a significant part in interpreting the specification and designing the way the PDL code interacts with our underlying core technology, which in turn was very useful when I was part of the team trying to speed it up. I have swapped back and forth between a couple of teams, tending to specialize in one or two main areas but helping out where required including, unusually, a stint as developer in support. The last six months I have been excited to work on our Harlequin VariData solution where it is possible to make a very big difference to performance and hence the customer experience.

What is the environment like? 

Hardworking, friendly and helpful. Ideas are discussed on their merits so everyone has a chance to contribute. Developers have a good relationship with QA who take an active part in our scrums, and also with support. Working hours are fairly flexible and evenings and weekends are respected. The office can be a little quiet sometimes, but everyone is willing to discuss technical issues and most people are up for a chat in the kitchen. We are small enough to get to know people across the company. There are various social events throughout the year.

What is the most exciting thing about your work?

Probably knowing that the software I’m writing today will soon be allowing huge presses all over the world to operate accurately and at high speed.

What projects have you been involved with?

The most exciting project I was involved with was when we had six months to make our embedded RIP go three times faster across a wide range of jobs.  This was incredibly challenging but as a team we were determined to do it, and thanks to our ingenuity and diverse skill set we succeeded!

Have you taken advantage of any of the company benefits?

Yes, I am a keen sailor and volunteer as sea staff with Ocean Youth Trust Scotland. I normally do at least a week each year and put my paid charity day towards that (http://oytscotland.org.uk/).

In addition, I always take up the opportunity of a week’s unpaid leave in addition to my paid holiday.

Global Graphics Software has also supported me over the years in achieving my personal goals. I have been studying Japanese as a hobby with Manchester University since 2015, and last year I was able to spend two months working in our Tokyo office which greatly benefited my Japanese. I just got my final exam results and am very pleased to say I passed!

What keeps you here?

Working here gives me an opportunity to work on the type of problems that I enjoy solving, with friendly colleagues who are highly motivated to do a great job. I feel my work is appreciated and relied on. Recently Global Graphics Software has been getting into a variety of new areas such as multi-level screening and inkjet technologies, and that can only mean more opportunities in the future.

 

If you’re interested in joining Global Graphics Software visit our web page to find the latest vacancies:
https://www.globalgraphics.com/globalgraphics-software/company/careers