I’m Mike, one of the Directors here at Zeal. My role is quite varied and gets me involved with a lot across the business. However the common theme with the majority of what I do is linked to technology – from working with the Digital and Buzz teams on their insight and tracking platforms – to coding and delivering great web solutions for our clients in the Create team.
My week starts with plenty of coffee (I usually need a few brews to get me up-and-running). This gives me time for a team catch-up, sort out emails, and plan the workload for the week ahead. The Zeal Create team will also have an update session so we can discuss our current web projects, and what we need to achieve over the next five days.
Mondays are normally the day when I get a lot of requests to help with things from across the business – it could be to provide some insight into a client’s website analytics, brainstorm some campaign ideas for a client (or figure out why someone’s laptop isn’t working properly!). So the majority of my day is about supporting the team and providing technical resource where it’s needed.
Tuesday & Wednesday
Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be all about Zeal Create. As my background is within development, a lot of my time is spent coding web projects alongside the rest of the Zeal Create team. I really enjoy the collaborative approach we take to our website development – we support each other, helping figure out and overcome issues as we encounter them. Having multiple developers work on a project also means we’re continually debating the best way to produce the end result – meaning the client is getting a well thought-out and considered product.
We use a range of tools to help us work together – from BitBucket (which is our source code repository management), to Skype (so we can chat away in silence despite us all sitting next to each other). Skype is useful also for sharing files and articles between ourselves, not to mention the various animated GIFs we find online (my favourite will always be the Oprah Winfrey “Bees!” one).
Meeting day! After a good stretch of wearing my coding hat, it’s normally a good time to get in touch with clients and provide updates on how things are progressing. As well as project management, Thursdays are about new business too – sometimes that involves lending my brain to Jane so we can compile a proposal for a new client together – or it might involve jumping on a train to somewhere like London, so we can sell how great Zeal is face-to-face. I always prefer the latter because it can be hard to express enthusiasm and passion for what we do in a written document. Also, train trips normally mean a “well done” drink on the ride home!
Throughout the week the Zeal Create team can get lots of small ad-hoc development tasks: adding some details or tracking to a client site, creating an email newsletter, setting up hosting accounts – things like that. Friday is the day to work through my share of these, so it can be quite a varied day depending on what’s on the list.
Winding-up my week involves getting my to-do list in order for Monday (I’m a list freak), sending emails that need doing before people start going home and then a quick visit to the BBC website to see if the weather will be decent enough for a BBQ or a day out somewhere this weekend (usual conclusion = I’ll be staying indoors!)
Saturday & Sunday
I might not be in the office, but (to my partner’s annoyance) I’m on my phone! From time-to-time they’ll be a website issue to deal with (or a client needs assistance before Monday), so I keep an eye on my emails just in case.