Ever wanted to know what daily life in a tech consultancy looks like? In our latest blog series, we chat with Matt Butt, Senior Consultant at DiUS about his role and what it’s like to experience DiUS.
Why did you join DiUS?
This is actually a return to DiUS for me. I spent five years at DiUS previously and worked on many exciting projects. I was offered a unique opportunity to work specifically in the virtual reality space at a med tech startup. After a few more years I went to a metaverse startup. In all that time I always felt like I was consulting and trying as hard as I could to get my fellow developers to view the world the way a DiUS employee does. Earlier this year, an opportunity arose to rejoin DiUS after four years in the startup wildlands. It was a no brainer. Since returning, I already feel empowered again to be at my best. I feel like those years away also helped me realise why DiUS is where I should be.
What was your first coding experience?
No one would have even heard of it. A Dick Smith Wizard! It had a tape drive that would load in the code, line by line. You would watch it slowly load in on screen. As a twist, you could record audio at the same time. This meant you could produce commentary for the code as it loaded in! As a family, we would spend evenings reading out the code from a magazine or the language manuals, while another person typed it into the computer.
What are you most passionate about?
I have always been amazed by video games, ever since I was a child. But not just playing, I was always attracted to the mystery of how they worked. Building something that taps into all my senses. I love the idea of creating something that transforms me to a completely new world. Video game technology has always pushed the boundaries of the hardware it was run on. Now it’s become part of mainstream software in the business world with the rise of virtual and augmented technology. As a consultant, I feel that powerful video game technology is another tool we can leverage to help with client solutions.
What’s been the most exciting engagement you’ve worked on so far while being at DiUS?
I have had a few, but can call out one specifically we had for an insurance client. It was to create an end user experience to sell insurance options. I mean how boring right? We faced some hostility immediately during our first weeks. Initially, we had their developers storming out of meetings when we talked about our processes. During the development, it was all just in time agile – we kept stripping out requirements which meant existing requirements had to be refined. We always kicked off stories and further refined the requirements. We paired a lot. We spent a lot of time with internal stakeholders. Everything was being done at lightning speed but we still ended up with a well tested rigorous product that the client was happy with. We smashed the project outcomes out of the park. On our final retrospective, the developers who originally stormed out during our first week on the client site did not want us to leave. They loved their time on the project and the empowerment we gave them to be their best. This is what being a DiUS consultant is about.
Do you have any tips for other consultants?
It’s very easy to feel like you do not belong when everyone around you is good at what they do. It’s not the average workplace. It’s a team and everyone needs to work as a team. In my experience, take the time to consider everything in front of you and respond accordingly. This will develop trust between you, the client and your peers. Finally, I think it’s better to work on a well executed boring product with a great team, than it is to work on an exciting product with poor development practices and a team with little desire to improve.
What’s it like working in a hybrid-remote environment?
I felt like I was burning out pre covid. When it hit it was an uneasy time but I fell in love with working from home. It took some time to actually get into the routine of doing a work day without leaving the house. But now I value that time when I switch into work mode, but don’t have to leave the home. I can take a mental break and my son sees me more often. I still value the difference when I go into the office as you cannot replace our need and desire for human contact. This is how we have evolved. Studies show the effects of mental health on people who isolate and do not socialise. Sharing time within the social space of others is how you build trust with that person. This is really important to consider when planning and discussing engineering solutions.