Grey graduated from Queen’s with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2010 and is a technology strategy consultant who combines extensive business, technology and design experience to help create custom enterprise software that doesn’t suck. Grey started his career as a commercial mortgage analyst before realizing he was for more concerned with the dated user interface of Excel than the properties he was using the software to value. After starting a number of businesses (including multiple blogs, a lip balm company, an event promotion website and a freelance copywriting business) he took a number of part-time courses to learn the basics of web development, and landed at Konrad Group in 2014.
Here’s the deal: I like to tell people that I roll out of bed at 7:00 to enjoy my morning making breakfast, reading, and getting psyched for my day at my own leisure. I also tell people I sometimes get up at 5:20 so I can (reluctantly) make it to the gym before work. Since I feel like I can trust you, I’ll be honest–I don’t move until 8:00 because I accidentally stayed up too late playing Overwatch with my co-workers. Oops.
Fortunately, I can walk to our office at King & Spadina in about 10 minutes. Thing is, you wouldn’t believe the pace some people think is an acceptable walking speed. Some mornings it can take as long as 12 minutes or more to get into the office. How do I manage? Quantum Coffee when I arrive at the office.
Quantum Coffee is the coffee shop Konrad Group founded and opened across the street from our office, and the selection of beans we have at work has become essential to my morning routine. If I’m feeling particularly frisky, I’ll mix it with hot chocolate (one of the perks of our office coffee machines). After that, I could be settling down to catch up on emails, running a development stand up, checking in with our design team, getting on a call with one of our clients, or just catching up with the office gang. Every morning is different.
Around the Office
Our office is open-concept, but my desk feels like home. My essential work tools are my headphones to help lock into a work-crushing flow, and my Jigglypuff Amiibo, which puts a smile on my face (because of some Smash Bros. destruction… but more on that later.)
Of course, a workspace is only as great as the people who work there, and I’m lucky to spend my days with so many talented, amazing people. Our team is one big family–true friends who enjoy hanging out. There’s a reason so many of us stick around the office after work on Fridays; we’re the coolest group of nerds you’ll ever meet.
My favourite feature of the office is our lunch room, where we have foosball, ping pong, and Super Smash Bros., among other Wii U and Xbox One games. Everyone generally takes lunch at the same time, which makes it easy to get a game of 8-person Smash Bros. going, providing me and my Jigglypuff plenty of victims…
Designing software that doesn’t suck takes a unique combination of business, design, and technical knowledge. No two projects are the same and I love the difficulty of taking complex enterprise requirements and distilling them into intuitive workflows and a great experience. Along the way, you can’t help but learn what it takes to deliver successful digital solutions–from ideation through to design and ultimately execution.
Words of Advice:
Tech is a booming industry and it needs people with strong business backgrounds who can interpret business challenges and deliver effective software solutions. The key to breaking into tech is gaining experience. The industry prioritizes experience over education – giving you the opportunity to show what you’re capable of, and it’s never been easier to try your hand at building something useful. Get out there, find some friends, and create something cool.