The 1st in a series of posts introducing you to the people who make our Redgate Product Development team tick.
We managed to catch up with the rather busy Mark Cheverton. Mark is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of our Product Development department and we managed to cover off how he got into his role here, what gets him out of bed in the morning (And what keeps him in it) and the advice he would give to someone considering applying for a role here at Redgate.
How long have you been doing this role? What did you do before becoming Redgate’s CTO?
4 years as Redgate CTO, before Redgate I’ve worked in the startups, government, the third sector, and gaming, mostly in CEO or CTO roles.
How did you become a CTO?
I came to Redgate 7 years ago as a consultant working on innovation opportunities. After being convinced to join the team, I spent some time working on exploring the mobile and IoT markets before spending a year as CIO, then CTO.
What sort of things did you do to prepare for this role?
For c-level hires Redgate has a great approach of encouraging a period of exploratory research (approx. 1 month) to form a solid understanding of the business and people. This allows the creation of a really solid strategy prior to getting bogged down in the day to day of being in the job.
Did you know you always wanted to become a CTO?
I was lucky in that I graduated in 1994 when the Internet boom was just starting, and Cambridge was where a lot of great early Internet companies were based. Although I didn’t properly appreciate it at the time, I was able to take advantage of being in the right place at the right time to get straight into running my own Internet start-up out of University (though this was pre-cloud so I had to secure a business partner to cover the 6k for a P90 server and the 20k p/a for a 2Mb leased line — nowadays it’s much easier!).
What’s the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning?
My kids really. When I was young work was my life, but now I’m in my forties and have a family my life is much broader and richer so I really appreciate the focus that Redgate has on encouraging a healthy work life balance.
What’s the thing that makes you want to put the alarm on snooze?
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone seeking to do your role?
There are many types of CTO, focused on engineering, or innovation, or product management, and there are many routes to the job so it’s hard to give a single answer. Instead I’ll offer the advice I give my kids which is to find your passion and be the best you can be, the rest will follow.
The best piece of advice you could give to someone looking to join Redgate?
We’re looking for self-starters who will be comfortable taking the initiative in an empowering environment rather than being told what to do. If we see you’re curious, always learning, and passionate, you’ll fit in well.
Where do you see Redgate in 5 years’ time?
I think a lot will remain the same — the culture and values will still be at our core, we’ll still be driven by ingeniously simple, and we’ll be delighting our customers by helping them solve real problems. But a lot will also have changed in a growing company — part of working in technology is being comfortable navigating that constant change.
What’s the motto you live your life by?
I’m not sure I have a motto, but a quote I think sums up my attitude to work is by Alan Kay who said ‘The best way to predict the future is to invent it’.
Describe what Ingeniously Simple means to you
Complexity can be a crippling entropic cost for both software and business. Ingeniously Simple as a philosophy keeps us focused not only on creating a great experience for the customer, but also on constantly simplifying our business to remain lean and agile.