Who You Are And What You Do: James Spry-Leverton, Engineering Manager

POLLEN: What is your role and what does that involve?

JAMES: My role is Engineering Manager. It’s a new role at Pollen, introduced at the start of the year. The engineering team has been growing rapidly and there was an emerging need for more managers to support Brad and Ola. Alongside my mentoring and coaching responsibilities I’m also heavily involved in hiring and supporting various technical initiatives like our bi-weekly tech talks and tech lead community forum. I also maintain some technical involvement in areas I’m passionate about, like our ticketing integrations framework and the formation of our UI library.

POLLEN: What does a normal day for you look like (if there is one!)?

JAMES: I’m lucky enough to live within 10 minutes walk from our Vauxhall office. So I’ll often spend the morning at home with a coffee catching up with email and slack. I’m really more of an office person though, so I’ll tend to head into the office for the first meeting of the day. Most days involve one-on-one catch-ups over a coffee at Urban Botanica, pair programming, calls with potential candidates and reading through CVs.

POLLEN: What’s your favourite part of your job?

JAMES: It’s definitely the coaching and mentoring relationships I build with those that I manage. I really enjoy supporting people with their problems and challenges. It’s a privilege to manage at Pollen as the unique culture of Freedom, Ownership & Mastery allow the conversation between manager and managee to focus on the stuff that matters.

POLLEN: Favourite moment of Pollen so far?

JAMES: That’s a difficult one! I think it would have to be playing Secret Hitler & Codenames at the tech team retreat in Brighton. Pollen has introduced me to two of my favourite board-games.

POLLEN: What do you do outside of work to find balance?

JAMES: I’ve been known to enjoy a pint or two in the pub after work. Outside of the pub, I play in goal for my old University six-aside football team in Battersea and enjoy playing video-games.