From Developer to Delivery Lead: Danny’s experience at Cortex

it pays to be very tall and polite and good at making tea

2023-10-16 11:21:36


Meet Matt “Danny” Champion. Matt joined Cortex in 2021 as a developer and has recently taken on the role of delivery lead. On top of his responsibilities of guiding our interns and junior developers and supporting the recruitment process, Matt will be responsible for the overall delivery of Cortex’s suite of software products.

Matt has 11 years of experience in the industry and is skilled at software architecture design and team management. He also has a deep understanding of the Blazor web development framework.

Our team knows Danny as the BFG who enjoys his frobscottle by the kegful. Danny is easily the most approachable person in the office and will always make sure everyone feels supported in what they’re doing, which is one of the reasons why we couldn’t think of anyone better to guide our interns and junior staff. Since he’s recently taken on the responsibility of the delivery of Cortex’s suite of products, we decided it was a good time to sit down and chat with Danny about his recent career change and experiences working at Cortex.

How did you start your career in Software Development?

We asked Danny about where his interest in tech started: “I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to work with computers and early on I discovered a real interest in software when I taught myself Python (and later C) from online tutorials. After finishing at the Guernsey Grammar School, I joined the College of Further Education to do a BTEC in Information Technology where I learned (among many other topics) better approaches for writing and maintaining software which only further increased my interest in the industry. After completing the course, I went into my first full-time job where I started on the helpdesk for a while before moving over to join the software team where I haven’t looked back since!”

What have you been working on?

“When I joined Cortex I initially started out on our internal products such as Seeker and Tabi, but I quickly picked up some external work helping to build a line of business systems for some of our clients across different sectors. The big change was in developing the Simultaneous Electronic Voting system for the States of Guernsey, where I had to understand the platform at a higher level and was helping drive the architecture and requirements of the system as a whole. This helped give me the skills and experience that allowed me to start playing a larger part in guiding our internal projects, which is where I am now!”

What projects are you most proud of?

“Of all of our projects, I'd say that I'm proudest of the Simultaneous Electronic Voting (SEV) system that we built for the States of Guernsey, both because of its impact on the democratic process in Guernsey and how it improves transparency, but also because of how technically complex and interesting it was to work on! I've also really enjoyed our work on Tabi (a time and billing system), which has been a real change from how we've built software in the past as we move into the world of SaaS.”

What skills have you gained?

“I’ve really built up my skills in Blazor (a web development framework), which I’d not really worked on before joining but I now feel really proficient with. My SQL and C# skills have also come along because I’ve worked on far more complex bugs/features than I had encountered in the past so I’ve really had to step my game up there. I’ve also really had to develop my skills in managing projects (gathering requirements, planning etc.) as well as managing people (juniors, interns and onboarding other employees). In all honesty, I’d probably say that all of my skills have taken a marked step up over the last couple of years!”

Can you tell us more about your new role as Delivery Lead?

"I'm more heavily involved in how we actually deliver our suite of products; that means a mix of hands-on dev, people management, mentoring our juniors and interns, high-level architecture design, planning… and learning how to juggle it all!"

What’s different about Cortex?

"It’s never dull! Being surrounded by smart people passionate about what they're working on or sharing what they’ve learned recently is inspiring and makes the work such a fulfilling challenge. At Cortex there's a great mix of not taking ourselves too seriously while also having a real underpinning of professionalism and attention to detail in all the work we do. The constant flow of tea helps, too.” 

Are you interested in working at Cortex? We're always keen to hear from like-minded people, so if you think you might be a good fit, please get in touch.