As part of our Coworking in the Countryside blog series, we caught up with Gary, one of our members about what he’s up to and how he’s finding working here at the Business Barn
So you’ve got your own coding business, tell us more about it and what exactly you do?
It’s been a bit of everything really. My first ten years, I was building applications for computers, then it became the web, and now it’s back to apps, it’s come full circle. Everything I do now is more for internal corporate use, I do a lot of work for pharma companies, government and hospitals. I love the variety, I’m so used to having multiple projects at once that I sometimes think I’d love to just do one thing but I think I would get bored if I was.
What’s your background and how did you get into coding?
I was working on computers back in 1983, 84, when PC’s started to be a thing and I always had a love for them. But I did engineering, went to electronics college and then went out as a service engineer and hated it so much. I’d be going in to fix photocopiers and computers and I’d be looking at the people on them saying I could do that, I want to do that. So I went back to college in my twenties and retrained completely. Then I left college and within three years I had set up a business. For me, it’s about not being micromanaged, I like to do my own thing, I hate being managed.
What brought you to the Business Barn and how are you finding working in this environment?
One of the reasons I came here is that I found it very very difficult to switch off. One of the remarks that people make now is “do I work from home or do I live at work?” and I found that I was living at work. I was literally in my office all the time and my office was in my home and I was finding it very difficult to break that cycle. Coming here has helped with that.
I’m very productive here at the barn, it’s interesting because I come here with a monitor, I go home and it’s like a spaceship with the amount of screens there, but in terms of productivity, I still find myself more productive here.
What’s your work routine like? Are you all schedules or do you go with the flow?
I’m very flexible. I’m an early riser so I’ll get up and make a cup of coffee, that’s my first thing and then I go to work and I’ll work through until about maybe 11 or 12 until the kids get up and there’s a bit of chat. I’ll take a break then for an hour, sit in the garden or go for a walk and I’ll try to keep taking regular breaks, that’s pretty much my routine. I purposely come here on a Monday and a Thursday, that’s my thing. I start the week off here with a really good boost and then I take a couple of days at home, then as I’m starting to slip back into that feeling of living in my work again, I’ll come back in here.
Has much changed for you in the pandemic?
No, not in the slightest, I closed my office after about six weeks working from home and it made no difference at all to me in a work sense but the social aspect is essential and I like that about the Barn. I do like the way you walk in and there’s a little bit of a chat, you’ve really struck the right balance here, people are friendly but you can also get your work done.
Are you working on any exciting projects over the next year?
I can’t talk too much about what I’m doing but I will say that everything I’m working on is exciting to me, these are companies that I’m actually helping to be able to be more productive and I love that. Coding is coding, it’s boring but the outcome for the client and how happy they are is what excites me.