The first of our 5 team spotlights. Now's your chance to find out more about one of our directors, Chris!
Director. Managing projects across our core services.
How long have you been working at Cypher Media?
Since August 2007
How did you get the job at Cypher Media?
I had recently graduated from university after spending 3 years studying film and television in Aberystwyth. As many graduates know, applying for work after university in line with the subject matter can be difficult. I was quite lucky really, as a friend of mine had recently done some work with Cypher Media and Adrian had mentioned to him that they were considering hiring a graduate to help with video work. I dropped Adrian an email and went in for a job interview – taking my showreel of video work with me. I had no idea if the interview went well as I was incredibly nervous. I’d not long got back home to my parents when I received a call from Brian (who has since retired) and was offered the job. I immediately said yes. This happened on a Thursday and started the very next day, on the Friday of that week in 2007. Time flies.
What do you like about working at Cypher Media?
The size of our core team. Because we are a small team it means we can all constantly communicate with one another throughout the day. We work in an open plan office space, which allows us to discuss projects, share ideas and collaborate creatively. I really feel this allows us to work with our clients more efficiently and enables our clients to feel we are working more closely with them. It’s also great working with our wider team of freelancers as we all get on so well. That’s why many of them have worked with the company since it started.
Tell us about an interesting or challenging project you worked on.
Each project comes with its only unique challenges so there’s quite a few to choose from. When I started at Cypher Media, I had very little web development experience as I came from a video production background. One of the projects we outsourced was an online conference registration system. I decided to try and bring this in-house by developing our own system. After a couple of months, the first version of this was ready to use. This saved the client quite a bit of money compared to outsourcing as well as giving us much more flexibility in what we could offer and improved response times in technical support. It also opened me up to learning new skills and abilities in web development, which continues to be one of the core services we offer to our clients.
Challenge or something you've learned about working from home.
Remote working is something we are all quite used to due to the nature of our business - frequent travel and working onsite at different locations. Working from home for a prolonged period feels different though. I think the biggest challenge is not having continuous interactivity with colleagues, which is a big part of our open-plan office space. Even when we are travelling or working remotely onsite at an event there is usually at least one other colleague to discuss ideas with. We are using Google’s suite of tools to stay connected, but this still means having to schedule in specific times to discuss things. One thing I’ve learned is how important it is to have a structure or plan on what you want your day or week to look like. You still need to allow yourself scheduled breaks for things like lunch and try and structure your day around a ‘normal’ working day.
Some of your other favourite things?
Films and TV shows have always been a huge interest to me. I think streaming brands like Netflix produce some fantastic examples and I’ll watch almost anything. When I get the time, I like to play my PS4. I’ll play most things but mainly into FPS, action/adventure and RPGs. I like to tell myself that it keeps my brain active. I’m trying to cook a lot more and try and create more interesting meals. I’ve been doing that a few months now and really enjoying it. I’ll also try and go to the theatre and see concerts as much as possible. There’s nothing quite like seeing things live on stage. Working in the events industry also gives me a huge appreciation for the time and effort that goes into a live production of any kind.