Q&A with Paul Seward-Prior, Operations Engineer

We recently welcomed Paul Seward-Prior to the BaseKit team as an Operations Engineer. We’re very excited to have him on board! We sat down with Paul (remotely, of course), to find out a little bit about his background and his plans now that he’s joined BaseKit.

Welcome to BaseKit, Paul! Could you tell us a little bit about your previous experience?

I’ve been administering Unix systems for over 20 years, starting in the education sector and more recently in cloud consultancy. My career has ranged from nursing an ancient mainframe that was long past its end of life – to implementing bleeding edge cloud technologies for startups.

I love a challenge, and a problem to solve. And I especially like it when I can replace a tedious manual process with an automated one!

What most attracted you to join the BaseKit team?

The friendly team, the awesome office atmosphere, and plenty of interesting technical challenges to get my teeth into.

What does your new role involve?

As an Operations Engineer, I’m responsible for making sure the product stays up and running in production.

It’s more than just keeping the lights on though. Ops is also about security, planning for the future, and working with the development team to get new features into production faster while simultaneously reducing the risk of doing so!

Onboarding during a global pandemic has been a new experience for all of us – how have you found it?

My previous role was fully remote, so working from home, building relationships with colleagues and “getting things done” remotely is familiar territory.

The BaseKit team have made my onboarding process super easy by being friendly, open, and really easy to learn from!

I can’t wait to get into the office to meet people properly!

How are you finding remote working with the BK team? (We know you’re an expert at this, Paul… any tips?)

I think remote working was a new experience for a lot of people, but I’m really impressed at how well BaseKit have adapted.

My main tip is to keep the conversation flowing! A healthy office environment has plenty of opportunities to meet colleagues, build friendships and have lots of open conversations about work and non-work topics!

Our weekly “Happy Hour” calls, daily standups, and of course Slack (#trivia is one of my favourite channels) are all great for building that communication.

We have to ask: what are you most looking forward to once the UK lockdown has been lifted?

Seeing my family! Several of my family are in the high-risk category and are shielding, although I talk to them all regularly (and my 77yr old Dad has nearly managed to get the hang of facetime) it’s just not the same as getting together in person.

That and I’m itching for a post-work pint with the team!

What are your main goals for working at BaseKit?

To reduce technical debt, move the product forward and have fun while we’re doing it!

Since joining the team, what’s been your favourite thing about BaseKit?

This is an easy one, it’s the team. I’m working with inspiring people, who are all friendly and open to sharing knowledge and ideas.

Tell us something about you: what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

The thing that keeps me busiest outside of work is collecting, restoring and maintaining old telephones and telephone exchange equipment. I’ve got a shed full of electromechanical telephone exchanges (the oldest of which was built in 1937) and a plug and cord switchboard in my living room!

Do you want to find out more about life at BaseKit? We’d love to hear from you! Take a look at our careers and team pages to learn more about us and see a list of current vacancies.

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