Technical and Solution Architect, Anthony Seddon, who lives and works in Wigan, was first inspired to get into IT as a child when he was given a Sinclair ZX Spectrum in the 80s. He went on to study software engineering at Hull University and has since clocked-up 25 years in the industry. 
Currently working in an engineering role with Vanquis bank, Anthony describes the things that give him job satisfaction, predicts how lockdown will change the face of consulting and shares his balanced opinion of IR35… 
One of the things I enjoy the most in my role is acting as the glue in between "the business" and the delivery teams. It's my role to understand the problem we are trying to solve, apply the appropriate architectural patterns and ensure the team comes up with the right technical solution. It's not always easy for business stakeholders to understand the problems development teams have to solve, and vice-versa, and that's where I add value. 
I believe Iridium’s model of working with specialists, based on the client’s specific requirements, is the best approach all round. Bringing in a team of specialists helps organisations build best-of-breed solutions using consultants who are experts in their field, rather than a team of generalists on a rate card. 
I have been working from home since lockdown began. I do miss collaborating with colleagues face to face, sketching ideas out on whiteboards, etc. but I do consider myself very fortunate to be working when many others aren't in these challenging times. I joined Vanquis as an Interim Technical Architect in September this year, and I've been really impressed with the onboarding process and the talent of the people I'm working with. 
Businesses that embrace remote working, and technology that enables it, will come out stronger. It's been refreshing to move to an organisation that has clearly invested in technology which enables this, compared to other clients who have struggled rolling out the collaboration tools that we now rely on as mission critical systems. 
Lockdown will make me and my clients more open minded. About where I can deliver my services from, meaning I have a wider pool to operate in, not just locations that are commutable from where I live. 
It will be some time before we're back to going into offices. And even then, I think remote working is here to stay. People don't have to be in the same office all the time, but there's a balance to be had. There's nothing like collaborating in person - you lose a lot of non-verbal cues via a webcam. Whether it's Azure DevOps Wikis, Microsoft Teams Sites, SharePoint, etc. how we communicate and disseminate key information for our projects is going to be critical as we're all geographically dispersed. 
Meetings are no longer constrained by room availability. Meaning you can often find yourself in back-to-back conference calls. I think we all need to be mindful of protecting the time in our calendars, and those of our colleagues, to achieve the right balance of work time and time away from the screen. 
There's a wealth of resources online that you can now watch at your leisure. As someone who's moved back into the .NET ecosystem after a few years away working primarily with Node.js, I've been really impressed with the amount of free resources online, from videos on YouTube and Microsoft's Channel 9 community to online conferences such as .NET Conf, Microsoft Build and Ignite. 
I've mixed views on IR35. The shift in responsibility for who does the IR35 assessment has meant that some clients are doing blanket assessments to remove the risk they are now carrying. I've seen that first-hand in a recent Public Sector engagement, and it was incredibly disruptive for the programmes and the suppliers working on them and led me to look for opportunities elsewhere, which in turn led me to Iridium and my new engagement at Vanquis Bank. 
On the flip side. Clients are now more aware of the difference in responsibilities between their contractors and employees than they were in the past, since IR35 wasn't something they had to deal with first-hand. As an independent consultant with specialist skills, I much prefer working to a Statement of Work, focused on outcomes, than the traditional body-shopping that was all too prevalent in some parts of our industry so I see any moves towards outcome-based engagements as a positive thing. 
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