3 September, 2018

"My Working Day" - Richard Mort's interview with IDG Connect Magazine

Edge Testing's New Business Director Richard Mort was interviewed by IDG Connect Magazine for their Typical 24 questions series - "My Working Day."

IDG Connect Rich

Name: Richard Mort

Job title: New Business Director

Company: Edge Testing Solutions

Location: Birmingham, UK

Years’ experience: 38 years in IT and 25 years in testing


1: What time do you reach the office each day?

Between 7 and 8 am to avoid the traffic and get a head start


2: Is your job varied?

Yes. I focus on supporting Edge Testing Solutions commercially but have a background in IT based Quality Assurance and Testing, so I get very much involved in bid support and sales from a SME perspective too. Each day can be very different and once a bid hits my desk it completely takes over my working life


3: Is your job creative? 

Yes, it is creative. Together with my team, I need to be able to fully understand a client’s requirements, challenges and concerns and then align a complete, tailored solution just for them. Each piece of work is totally different so cut and paste just won’t do! All responses and solutions need to be carefully thought out and then Edge’s key selling points and capability applied


4: What do you spend the majority of your time doing? 

Winning business but, from an operational rather than a sales aspect. Also getting the right people involved, so being able to influence, negotiate and motivate others is really important


5: Do you personalize your desk? 

Oh yes – it’s a combination of tech books (currently reading ‘Explore It’ – a neat and refreshing view on exploratory testing), a Eurofighter typhoon (just a model not a real one!), a calendar of the Welsh coastline and a picture of my dear old dad holding his grandson just after he was born


6: Would you describe yourself as creative? 

Reasonably – I’ve got a wandering mind, which enables me to look at a problem from various angles. I also have a reasonable sense of humour so like to apply this where possible. However too much humour can switch people off so it’s important to know where the balance is


7: Do you have any quirky daily rituals? 

A 10-minute blast in the morning of Radio 4, with John Humphreys grilling some poor soul. And I’m not happy until all of the new e-mails in my Inbox have been read first thing


8: Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?

It varies, but typically on own with many conference calls during the day. Work is so different to when I started 35 years or so ago. Now I spend my days having calls with people all over the world, which is really liberating. Different people – different views


9: How many hours on average do you work a day? 

10 hours a day is usual


10: Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings? 

2 hours on emails and another 2 hours on calls, but meetings time has reduced drastically as I am much better at disciplining myself now and getting on with real work. The days when I was a meetings monster (i.e. went from meeting to meeting to meeting) are over – it’s time to get some work done!


11: Do you use social media much for work? 

I get heavily involved in supporting our Marketing Strategy so yes, we use this more and more and it’s important that we keep an upward growth of followers


12: What do you enjoy most about your work? 

Winning highly competitive bids as it means I’m doing my job right


13: What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work? 

All types from 16th Century court music (Susato) through to trance (Sasha) and everything in between. I even played some big band music the other day


14: What do you do for lunch? 

Attack the fridge


15: Do you socialize with work colleagues? 

Not as much as I used to. We are split all over the UK and the company has been (and remains) incredibly successful, so we tend to focus very much on work, although we do hold quarterly meetings where the whole company gets together and these can be great social events


16: Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of? 

Not particularly – you do what’s necessary to get the job in hand done. I did start out as an Assembler Programmer though and having to write a lot of code to move one little binary value from one place to another would drive me nuts now. Thankfully, for me, those days are gone


17: What is your last task of your day? 

Getting set up for the next day’s work. So, going through reminders in the calendar and getting anything that’s worrying me ready to be mitigated


18: How do you like to relax after work? 

Depends on what my better half wishes to do but, being in my fifties, food has become an interest rather than a necessity. I keep threatening to take up tennis again but I think this will just remain a threat. Films, TV, music and walking are also things I enjoy in my spare time


19: Do you keep checking email through the evening? 

No. Although I do work outside of office hours most days, once I stop I stop. My motto is to do the work, get prepared for the next day then, once that’s done, I try and switch off


20: Do you take work projects home with you? 

Yes – constantly. Working on bids becomes addictive and at present the market is vibrant and there is a lot of work coming through. The kick you get when winning a bid is even more addictive so this spurs you on. I’m the sort of person who has to avoid chocolate and one armed bandits!


21: What would you say to your 20-year old self?

Go over to the USA, find a young student called Bill Gates, offer him a shed load of money to invest in this ‘thing’ he’s doing then write a note to thank your older self when you meet him in 35 years’ time...


22: If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose? 

I’d like to be that long-haired chap who presents ‘Coast’ on the BBC for a day – a) because I love the UK coastline and b) because I’m as bald as a badger and it would be interesting to have long hair for a day


23: What device did you use to answer these questions? 

My trusted laptop


24: Do you use your own personal device for work? 




See article published in IDG Connect Magazine here


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