Category Archives: MeetTheSpeaker

Meet the speaker – John Cowen

John Cowen is the Head of Design at Funeral Guide where he spends his time doing design and creative thinking. He holds a fascination for all aspects of design, from theoretical design down to the nuts and bolts of production-ready HTML & CSS. He is invested in research, workshops, presentations and conferences that have all blossomed from the simple pursuit of applying creativity to interaction design.

Name: John Cowen
Job role: Head of Design at Funeral Guide
LinkedIn: John Cowen
Twitter: John Cowen

What motivates you to do what you do?

I love to solve problems, make things simpler and more beautiful. Design gives me the opportunity to do this. And I still love the creative freedom that comes from working online and the ability to quickly publish new designs and the constant iteration that follows.

How do you start your mornings?

Overnight oats and the Guardian crossword.

What does a ‘typical’ work day look like?

My days are typically split between meetings with stakeholders and other departments to both review work in progress and gather requirements for new feature development work.
It’s then going back to the team and making sure everyone has got the right information and direction they need to be able to deliver the different projects they’re working on. So for me this varies a lot between running design workshops, individual and team critiques, art direction, brand development, writing HTML and CSS or helping steer and develop our design libraries for different products.

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Meet the speaker – Frazer Anderson

Frazer Anderson grew up in Exmouth and went to ISCA college where he found his love of science and technology. He studied at Bournemouth University and worked at an IT company in London where he first got introduced to 3D printing. After completing a masters degree in Aberystwyth and travelling the world (20 countries so far) he came back to Exmouth to start his own company.

Name: Frazer Anderson
Job role: Founder of Exclusiv3D
Social Media: LinkedIn; Twitter; Facebook; Instagram

What motivates you to do what you do?

I’ve always loved being at the forefront of technology and being able to bring that to customers on a daily basis is a great feeling.

How do you start your mornings?

3 times a week I hit the gym at 4am with a friend, otherwise I’ll wake up around 6/7am. Then breakfast and catch up on the news, podcasts, and stock markets.

What does a ‘typical’ work day look like?

I track each day with a whiteboard and will prioritise every morning what I need to do. I will split my time between designing, printing, and post processing prints (sanding/gluing), as well as prepping social media posts and networking with current or potential clients.

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Meet the speaker – Milly Brown

Milly Brown is a visual artist and educator. Often working with paper, collage and publishing formats, her practice explores ideas of objectivity, value and editing.

Name: Milly Brown
Job role: Senior Lecturer and Subject Leader on Plymouth College of Art’s  BA (Hons) Fashion Media and Marketing
LinkedIn: Milly Brown

What motivates you to do what you do?

It is important we ALL engage with big data as it increasingly shapes more areas of our lives. If print and publishing can be employed to do that I want to be involved!

How do you start your mornings?

Dog walking

What does a ‘typical’ work day look like?

I work as a senior lecturer at PCA, so most days I am in lectures talking about fashion marketing and publishing, so when I have a day to work on the Continuous Stationery project it’s very different dealing with artists and scientist-a brilliant contrast!

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Meet the speaker – Sophie Glaser

Sophie is helping us out with investigating grant funding opportunities, so we took a few minutes to get to know her a bit better!

Name: Sophie Glaser 
Job role: Consultant, Granted Consultancy Ltd
LinkedIn: Sophie Glaser

What motivates you to do what you do?

Curiosity, consulting means knowing the processes and priorities of funders, while catering to the clients needs too. Each new project changes sector and focus, so I have to rapidly learn a new sector and product for each client.

I’m curious and it really helps to get stuck in when you want to know more, whether its about a new blockchain solution, autonomous vehicles, ed tech or bread-making innovations.

How do you start your mornings?

At 6.30, walking the dog come rain or shine.

What does a ‘typical’ work day look like?

A typical work day is divided between sector research, client management, project management and writing. 

Continue reading Meet the speaker – Sophie Glaser

Meet the speaker – Al Mclintock

Al reached out to us to let us know about Exeter College’s plans for the new T (technical) Level qualifications – find out more at her upcoming talk on wednesday!

Name: Al Mclintock
Job role: Industry Placement Liaison Officer, Exeter College
LinkedIn: Al Mclintock

What’s your biggest passion?

I used to be a cook and a baker so it is really nice to get to do it as a way of relaxing rather than as a job!

What motivates you to do what you do?

I believe that young people are growing up in a challenging and unknown world and need support to flourish – just like we all did when we were young.

How do you start your mornings?

I usually have a really tasty breakfast as it is my favourite meal of the day, drink tea and coffee and then go outside.

What does a ‘typical’ work day look like?

Typically I work with students, employers and tutors on a daily basis, supporting and engaging them with  IT/Digital/ Business Industry Placements in the hope that students and employers will have a positive and mutually beneficial experience.

Continue reading Meet the speaker – Al Mclintock

Meet the Speaker – Ben Travers

Our sponsors are always keen to learn more about tech – we asked Ben from Stephens Scown a few questions prior to his upcoming talk debating the use of Open Source licenses in software

Name: Ben Travers
Job role: Head of IP & IT Law, Stephens Scown LLP
Twitter: @stephensscown

What’s your biggest passion?

My biggest passion is learning new things!

What motivates you to do what you do?

Building a team which breaks the mould, enabling us to offer advice in innovative ways which make a real difference to the businesses we work with.  That, and the privilege of being invited in by businesses to learn what makes them tick so that we can really help them to meet their goals – no two are alike.

How do you start your mornings?

If there is time (which there usually isn’t!) a run along the river – often with “Zombies, Run” – the gamification of exercise!

What does a ‘typical’ work day look like?

Varied! 
We might be assisting a client with the legals around a new marketing campaign, seizing counterfeit goods or helping with a new product launch.  The sheer breadth of areas we work in means there is never a dull moment.

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Meet the Speaker – Tristan Edwards

Our sponsers aren’t just anyone – they’re people who we enjoy wotking with and provide lots of value to our community. We asked Tristan from Grey Matter a few questions prior to his upcoming talk on modern app deployment techniques on Azure.

Name: Tristan Edwards
Job role: Group Head of Services , Grey Matter
Twitter: @tristankedwards

What’s your biggest passion?

My biggest passion and what motivates me are almost one and the same. I enjoy a challenge and get great satisfaction from solving technical problems.

How do you start your mornings?

Would it be cliché if I said drinking coffee?

What does a ‘typical’ work day look like?

Is there one? I don’t think there is a ‘typical’ day at work. No one day is the same. I can spend a whole day in meetings with different members of the team and customers, other days I’m attending and presenting at technical events, or implementing and deploying projects for businesses. I guess the one thing that they all have in common is that the end goal is helping customers adopt the cloud.

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Meet the Speaker – Matthew Huxtable

We’re privileged to have some amazing local talent who are willing to give up their free time to speak at our meetups. We asked Matthew a few questions prior to his upcoming talk on his journey migrating from Python to GO…

Name: Matthew Huxtable
Job role: Senior Site Reliability Engineer at Sparx (That sounds boring – in reality I build clouds and put out fires)
Twitter: @matthewhuxtable / GitHub: mhuxtable / LinkedIn

What’s your biggest passion?

I should probably say technology here, but life is about so much more than hardware, software and the digital communication channels which bind us together. As technologists, we can be a force for good, ensuring our specialist knowledge can be put to good use to leave a positive effect on the world around us.

What motivates you to do what you do?

Making a difference and seeing the smiles this can bring. Feeling like I’m having a real, positive impact. Feeling challenged and solving tough problems.

I’ve worked in education technology for over 10 years, since age 15, during which time I’ve seen the transformation in technology for learning in the classroom and the home. I am exceptionally grateful for the path I took through the education system, and I want to ensure I harness the skills and domain knowledge I’ve acquired to help today’s learners succeed.

How do you start your mornings?

I normally start by checking for the latest posts on blogs I follow, especially Adrian Colyer’s blog The Morning Paper: https://blog.acolyer.org/.  I like to keep a close eye on the latest publications in the field – they are inspirational and a good source of fresh ideas.

Continue reading Meet the Speaker – Matthew Huxtable