Luke Storer is a web developer at REVIEWS.io, a review collection, moderation and management platform, where he’s working on new features and supporting customers.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I suppose my career background has always been in Software Development, at least since university, I’ve been fortunate enough to work in a few different roles with companies of various sizes.
I attended De Montfort University in Leicester, UK where I studied Software Engineering. As part of my course I undertook a year in industry at a software house specialising in ERP software.
Then after graduation I moved into the web development space, focusing on PHP and Backend technologies as opposed to more traditional web design roles.
These days I’m a senior developer working on new features and supporting customers at REVIEWS.io, we’re a Google Licensed review collection and publishing service.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Given the current climate surrounding COVID-19 my work days have changed a little bit recently. Initially I was working full time from home, and more recently I’ve been juggling days in the office with days at home.
I start my day at 09.30am and usually have a quick flick through my emails and assigned support tickets before completing my daily report.
It’s a quick rundown of what I covered yesterday and what I intend to work on today and gives our team an insight into what work I’ve completed and am aiming to complete. This has become increasingly essential with us all being distributed outside of the office.
I’ll pick up a lengthier ticket or two for the morning, and begin or continue work on a resolution. It can be anything from a customer having integrated collection services for a third party and needing some assistance in surfacing their reviews via our widgets to a more recent update to Shopify’s API meaning I need to rework some of our queries to better leverage their API. One of the things I really enjoy about the role is the varied nature of the tickets I’m working on.
I’ll grab lunch for about an hour, anytime between 12 and 2 and then pick up with assigned tickets and emails in the afternoon.
I’ll clock off at around 5.30pm but that can vary a little bit if I’m currently working on something I need to get resolved.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
We’ve got a really great attitude here towards flexibility, if you need to shift your hours about a little or work from home you can, although I prefer being in the office as much as possible as I find routine is essential to me keeping productive.
Recently we had a situation where our nursery was shut and I had to look after my son on Wednesday mornings so I just had a quick chat with our CEO and worked a later shift on that day. This kind of flexibility but also a degree of autonomy is really important to me with a young (growing) family
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
To me it’s pretty simple, Work life balance means being able to switch fairly seamlessly between being an employee of the company and being a member of my family. It’s important that whilst I’m not working, I’m doing things with my time that are equally worthwhile and enjoyable, not just for me but for my girlfriend and our son.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I’ve started, albeit half halfheartedly, to exercise more. I’ve found a nice little route for cycling that I try to complete once a week and also a 5km run that I do occasionally. I could definitely run more often but I think these kinds of things are best done as little changes over time to our habits rather than adopting a stricter more regimented approach.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
When I get the chance I’ll listen to Distraction Pieces podcast by Scroobuis Pip, I’m a fair way back in the archives at the minute but I do enjoy the escapism of switching on a podcast and just paying attention to something different.
I also listen to a lot of music, as I find I can do that more easily than listen to a podcast when working. I read the Atlas Obscura newsletter which provides a nice glimpse into interesting places around the globe and the stories linked to them,
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
It pains me a little to admit it, but my phone is definitely a gadget I’d struggle to do without. I’m not big into any apps or games so much but I’ve started using RunKeeper to track my progress when I go for a jog and a few messaging apps to keep in touch with friends and family.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Sage Francis, he’s my all time favourite hip hop artist and given he spends a lot of time touring, manages a records label plus he’s expecting his first baby I think i t would be interesting to see how he plans on balancing things moving forwards.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I think given how much time most people spend at work, make sure you’re doing something you love and it’s with people you care about.
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