Not just a Senior Software Engineer – Robert the Swordsman

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We caught up with Robert Hook, Senior Software Engineer at Think Big Analytics, to find out what he thinks about the company values, and which projects he most enjoys working on.

What made you apply to Think Big Analytics?

I didn’t apply for the role, Think Big Analytics found me. Being headhunted as a result of my online work and being approached by an organization looking for the best people in the industry was an extremely attractive proposition.

How did you find the recruitment process?

The recruitment process was quick and easy. I had several conversations with senior people at Think Big Analytics. They explored my past, talked about current projects and future engagements they wanted to get involved in.

What do you think about the office environment?

The office has got the best view I’ve had since working in London! Being able to look out the window at the bridge, the cathedral and look down at the markets is fascinating. The office is huge and it’s a wide open, comfortable and very pleasant place to work.

How do you find your colleagues? 

The best thing about Think Big Analytics is working with people who are genuinely the best in the business. We all share a common enthusiasm for what we’re doing, and that makes for a combination of great and challenging conversations.

What do you think about the company values?

I’ve worked with a lot of companies over the years, and most of them express some sort of high-minded values. Think Big Analytics is one of the only organizations who have genuinely tried to adhere to the values they espouse. The values run right up through the middle of the business and through the way we work on a day to day basis. For example, I appreciate learning and extension of our skills being a core value that we pursue, both in projects and in our down time in between client engagements.

How does the company support your development?

Apart form the customer related work, Think Big Analytics supports my development by allowing me to delve into areas that are in line with the technical pursuits of the company. We are encouraged to explore new solutions that are a little bit off the wall to embrace innovation. The company also encourages me to take training outside their own portfolio of courses if they perceive it as beneficial. We rely on being seen to be the best and brightest, and that’s why we get a chance to upskill and broaden our knowledge base, as well as experiment with emerging technologies.

How do you find the project you’re part of now?

The project I’m working on now – I’d love to tell you all sorts of technical details about it, but I can’t! I find it interesting to work on a proof of concept for a very large telecoms organization who have posed some extremely challenging technical questions. The engagement has been fantastic because we’ve had a chance to take our standard toolset, our approaches and stretch them out to push the limit. We’ve been able to overcome the challenges and added new code and solutions to our toolset as a result.

What is the most interesting project that you’ve worked on?

I’d actually say the one that I’m currently working on, because it’s stretching our toolset and skillset. As a proof of concept that is not necessarily in line with our standard way of working, it has given us an opportunity to think outside the box – how we’re working, and how we can use our toolset in a new way.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Well there’s a question! I’ve been actively studying historical European swordsmanship for the last 15 years, playing with long swords, sword and buckler, rapier, rapier and dagger, and I have been known for doing the entire dressing up in armour thing…

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