Today we get to know Ross Barrow and talk about his recent promotion to Head of Development, learn about his approach to developing social media management software, and a few fun facts from outside of the office.
What is your role at CrowdControlHQ?
I am Head of Development, a role I was recently appointed to and I’m very excited about. Prior to that I was a Developer and then worked my way up to Senior Developer. I actually started my career with CrowdControlHQ in 2013 where I was working 3 or 4 days a week whilst finishing my Master’s Degree in Computer Science at The University of Birmingham.
What’s your approach or philosophy to developing software?
I’m a big believer in getting new software developments into the hands of our clients and working with them to capture their feedback, ensuring we are meeting their requirements and expectations of the software. It’s important to show that we listen to our users, allowing them to have a say and help guide the software development, rather than us dictating how they must work with the software, which ultimately helps us meet their needs better.
What does your typical working day look like?
I get into the office between 6:30 and 9:00 depending on whether I have been to the gym, then I normally work through any emails that might have come in the previous evening before running through my to-do list for the day. After that I get stuck into some actual software development work, and then I might have one or two internal meetings, or a phone meeting with one of our customers to talk about their feedback or experiences of using the software.
What’s the best part of your day or week?
Anytime we finish a block of work or a specific feature of the software, and we get it live and can see it working. Especially when it is a user-facing update that our users can see and begin to benefit from. For example, the new Calendar we released recently to our beta users and will soon be live for everyone, it’s nice to see all the team’s work coming together.
Have you seen any recent trends in how organisations are approaching social media?
Yes absolutely, I've seen that many organisations have a much stronger focus now on actually engaging with their audiences on social media, and not simply publishing content out. There is a real effort too on getting people outside the marketing or communications team to engage in social media. For example, many of our clients are public sector organisations such as police forces, and they are doing some great work by enabling police officers out on the beat to engage with the local communities where they are working by using social media. Then monitoring the engagement metrics over time to see how people are responding to content. It's great to see the CrowdControlHQ platform being used to support this.
What do you get up to outside of work?
I spend most of my time on American football. I play for the Sandwell Steelers men’s team and I coach on the women’s team. In the winter, I also coach the University of Birmingham Lion’s team who I used to play for. Outside of that I enjoy going to the gym. I’ve always been a morning person so it’s easy for me to have a workout before coming into the office, and then in the evening I’m often training, coaching or playing American football.
Finally, tell us an interesting fact that few people know about you
When I was 19 I played an international game for the GB American Football team against Poland, which was a great experience.
I was a finalist in 2017 for the Birmingham Developer of the Year award.
I’ve watched every single episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix!