The back room

Data Strategy talks to data practitioners who toil un-noticed behind the scenes

Paul Callow
Development director
The Software Bureau

What is your name and job title?

Paul Callow, development director, The Software Bureau

What does your job involve? Is there a lot of pressure?
Primarily I am responsible for managing the development of new products. We have a major project, “Swift”, on the go at the moment and this is taking up a great deal of time. We are a very close-knit company and therefore communication is very good. My colleagues are knowledgeable and understanding about the pressures involved in managing a development schedule and help to relieve any pressure that might arise as much as possible. Of course, there is still pressure, but only just enough to keep me on my toes.

Are you part of a team or do you work alone?
I head up a team of developers which, although geographically disparate, work closely together, so best of all worlds.

In what ways does your work see the light of day?
How is it used by your company?

With Philip Morgan, I was instrumental in the development and maintenance of Cygnus, our data cleansing and mailpack software product. Cygnus is currently used by a variety of companies including mailing houses, bureaux, direct mail printers and end users. We do not use Cygnus internally for any commercial bureau work, but we market it for general use to enable our clients to do so. My current project is not due for release until next year, so this has not yet seen the light of day in any commercial environment.

What is the best thing about your job?
My job enables me to work from the comfort of my own home much of the time. I have a permanent office out of the way where I am able to concentrate on the programming element of my job to a degree not possible in a busy office. The greatest benefit of working from home is when workloads are heavy and I have to work late into the evening, there is no long commute home, just a couple of flights downstairs. Working from home also means that I am still able to take time out to spend with my daughter Zoe, before she goes to bed. A lot of people say to me that they don’t think that they would be able to work from home, but for me the pros far outweigh the con’s.

What technique/application/piece of data would make your life easier?
I would at times like to be able to clone myself, and then one of me can work while the other plays.

What are your ambitions?
I would like to see The Software Bureau continue to grow steadily, and becoming the first choice of quality name and address cleansing software in the UK.

You have a life – what do you get up to in it?
My number one hobby is badminton which I’ve played for over 30 years. Currently I’m playing in both the Leicestershire and the Northants leagues. The Northants men’s team were promoted last season to the second division, so we’re expecting a very tough ride next season. also enjoy bike rides and walks with the family throughout the Leicestershire countryside.

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