Business / Employer : Headforwards
Location : Cornwall
What does your company do?
Headforwards creates bespoke software for our customers.
We are an outsource software company, but our model is very different to most other outsource companies. We create teams that are tailored to individual projects, and never move members between different teams. This causes delays and downtime; we feel it is not an effective way of working.
We believe in being agile, it plays a big part in our business strategy and day to day life, as well using agile methodologies in our development processes.
What is really refreshing about Headforwards is how much they value people. We are all looked after so well here.
Lots of after work BBQs and evening gatherings – we even have our own end of summer mini festival! But it isn’t just extra curricula activates, it is all the other day to day things like fresh fruit in the office, good coffee and just generally feeling valued as employees and people.
I recently joined Headforwards to help raise their profile. To enable them to gain more clients and to help the recruitment department to find talented new team members.
It is my job to find exciting and creative new ways of getting our message out there as well as helping with business development.
I have often been referred to as a geek in my career and not just for my love of Sci-Fi! I love the technical side of marketing, particularly digital marketing and its measurability. Web psychology is also extremely fascinating to me. I have really been enjoying making changes to our website, working on our SEO and tracking its progress through online tools like Google Analytics.
There is also still so much benefit in ‘real world’ marketing and it is definitely not to be forgotten.
I have just had our new light-box advert installed at Newquay airport, and recently I had the chance to go on the radio at Pirate FM to talk about the Software Squad event I organised.
Software Squad was an event at our office, where we invited 13-18 years olds to come and join us to learn more about working in software.
We facilitated some coding workshops using codecademy and Raspberry Pi’s. They also had some talks from industry professionals about their career journeys, including Eben Upton!
It felt good to be able to help encourage and inspire a hopeful new generation of developers.
When I was younger I didn’t realise that software was a possible career path for me, which is a real shame as it is something I would have liked to pursue.
I am looking forward to continuing to help other people realise that they can have fulfilling and rewarding careers in software, even based in Cornwall.
I have been working in sales and marketing for quite a few years, primarily in e-commerce, which is where my love of digital marketing and websites was formed.
I went to Truro College and did a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts. I was then accepted to Bath Spa University to do a Dance and Biology combined degree. I have always found science to be fascinating and it was important to me to continue learning it. However I realised the chances of me having a successful and rewarding career as a dancer were very slim. I made the decision not to go to university, as I didn’t see the point in getting into lots of debt studying something I wouldn’t be able to turn into a successful career.
I was already working at an e-commerce company at this point, but left to do some travelling and then settled in London for a few years.
Whilst I was there I worked as a Production Manager organising Fashion Shows. This helped me enhance my project management and leadership skills. I worked on some big London Fashion week shows where we would have a team of 40 people on site including carpenters, lighting engineers and sound technicians. These events took a lot of co-ordination and management to make sure they ran smoothly.
After a few years I made the decision to move back to Cornwall- as so many people do! I went back into a managerial role at an e-commerce company and I have been continuing to learn and develop my business and marketing skills since then. I am really pleased my journey has led me to working at Headforwards. Software development is fascinating to me and I am really enjoying learning more about the industry and helping Software in Cornwall raise its profile.
What piece of advice would you give anyone considering a career in the Software sector?
Education is important, but so is experience.
Try to get as much hands on experience as you can. There are lots of workshops and day session’s available- make the most of them. Software Cornwall posts them on their website and they also send out information in their newsletter too.
Not everyone’s career path takes them through university, mine didn’t. However with hard work and determination you can work your way to an exciting role that challenges and fulfils you. You just have to go out there and get it.
If you are interested in finding out more about marketing specifically please get in touch with me, I would be happy to talk to you and give you some advice or guidance.
If someone was interested in doing the job you do what advice would you give and what resources might you recommend?
Never stop learning!
The world of digital marketing changes so rapidly, you really need to keep abreast of industry changes but also it’s history. It is important to understand the journey it has been on.
Take the time to try to understand people, in marketing it is your job to talk to them. It is important to understand how best to get your message across, not everyone thinks the same as you.
What’s the best thing about living and working in Cornwall?
I love being outside!
Having such beautiful countryside on my doorstep is fantastic. I get to go on mini adventures just by walking out the front door.
The coastal path is amazing for walks, the beaches are stunning and there are so many great spots for wild camping in my van!
I do miss city life, but it is nice to be home in Cornwall near my family and friends.
I wouldn’t want to raise my daughter anywhere else she has most definitely inherited my love of being outside. Being in Cornwall enables her to run wild outside in exciting places.
If you would like to share your journey and experiences of working in the software sector please complete our online interview