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Employee Spotlight – James Martin

James Martin, Softlink’s Development Manager for Liberty and illumin, is based in the Brisbane head office. We get to know more about James (the Wise) in the fourth of our Softlink Employee Spotlights.

What are the main responsibilities of your position?

As the development manager, my overall responsibility is to ensure that the development team is delivering the best set of features and fixes to benefit the Liberty and illumin communities. This means I don’t actually get to write much code anymore. Instead, I focus on making sure development is working on the right features/fixes, review what has been done to check that we’ve thought of everything, help people when they’re stuck, and try to limit the things that keep the developers from working on the product.

When did you join Softlink and what do you like the most about working here?

I’ve been with Softlink for a little over 8 years now. Probably the best thing about working here is the people, but everyone says that so maybe I’ll go with the problem solving aspects of development. Actually, everyone says that too, so how about I admit to the little bit of joy I feel each time I test one of the other developer’s features (before we release it) and find a problem that no one else had thought of.

What is your favorite type of food? If there is a list of them so much the better!

My girlfriend (soon to be wife) is a vegetarian, so since we met just about anything meaty has become exotic 5-star special-occasion gourmet deliciousness. It’s funny – if you ask her, she still lists half a dozen meaty dishes as her favourite foods, so she’s got remarkable restraint to stick with her vegies. If I was more sensitive, I’d feel bad about eating my favourites (roast lamb, lasagna, bolognaise, shepherd’s pie) in front of her.

Which 4 people, alive or dead, would you love to share your favourite food with and why?

I’d love to share my favourite foods with my girlfriend – it’s so hard to watch her pleading eyes watching each forkful travel from my plate to my mouth, and it would be nice to be able to impress her with the dishes I cook best.

But aside from her, there’s:

  • Adam Spencer – he’s a mathematician and comedian who I’ve always found funny.
  • George RR Martin – so I can withhold dessert until he finishes his books
  • Pat Rafter – my favourite tennis player growing up, and he always seemed like a good bloke
  • Annette from Marketing – because I fear the consequences of having Pat Rafter over for dinner and not inviting her.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would that be and why?

It’d be great to be an astronaut heading up for the first time and getting to experience space and weightlessness and seeing the planet from above (not to mention the amazing ride you’d get being strapped into a big rocket).

I suspect I’d find it a bit cramped if I had to stay up there for a long time but as a day trip, I think that’s close to the ultimate experience.

Where in the world would you like to visit and why?

Italy’s probably top of my (long) list at the moment, just for the combination of history and food. I actually planned to go years back but decided at the time that I’d try to learn the language first… which means, that 10 years later, I still haven’t visited.