I like where I work because...

Feature

I like where I work because...

Computer Weekly, in association with human resources magazine Personnel Today, is searching for the best places to work in IT. We aim to put together an "alternative prospectus" of good places to work as selected by those who work in them.

We have had a phenomenal response and week-by-week we will bring you highlights from some of the entries. This week we start with Phil Rice's thoughts on working at Ananova in Leeds

Atmosphere

  • Describe your office. Is it lively or quiet, for example?
    A strange mixture of lively and quiet. Can be quiet because it's quite spacious, but lively as there is always so much going on, particularly in the support department I work in and also in the editorial department when there is a major news story break, for instance.

  • What colour is the carpet in your office?
    Blue.

    Training

  • Has your company helped you develop a career path? If so, how has this happened?
    Yes. We have access to the latest technologies (often before anyone else in the industry) and we are at the forefront of multimedia news in the industry. I am encouraged to and backed (financially and with equipment, time, etc) to increase skills in all areas.

  • Do you and your colleagues socialise out of work?
    Yes, in lots of ways - we have weekly football, squash league, paintballing, many visits to pubs (various launch parties with free drinks and food, etc) as well as the usual drinks after work and often at the weekend as well.

    Technology

  • Do you get access to cutting-edge technology?
    We had Wap phone prototypes before the mobile phone companies had them due to contacts. We are working on certain projects that I'm not allowed to mention as they are too cutting edge.

  • How big is your monitor screen?
    Nineteen inches.

  • Describe any exciting projects you have worked on
    The world's first virtual newscaster. I set up the render servers she is created on. I also set up the XML database server that runs the real-time news system the reporters use to update our site and provides Ananova with her info that she reads in near real time. Currently setting up a remote location for a rendering farm through a Cisco PIX VPN tunnel that can be totally administrated from the main location in Leeds.

  • Describe your IT department in three words
    Hectic, visionary, capable.

    Location

  • Are there pubs within walking distance of your office? What are they like?
    Yes - a couple quite cheap local type pubs but we are also within walking distance of Leeds City centre with every type and price range.

  • Any other comments on location?
    In an excellent listed building - an old mill with a lot of its old features retained.

    Benefits

  • What benefits does your company provide?
    Free mobile phone for every employee at a discount tariff (we are owned by Orange). Bonuses.

  • Do you go on team-building events? What sort of things have you done and did you enjoy them?

    Recently paintballing (excellent), coming up in the future a golf tournament - there is a social committee that makes sure events are organised regularly.

    Workplace

    Name: Phil Rice

    Job Title: Systems administrator

    Company: Ananova, virtual broadcaster

    Location: Leeds


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    This was first published in January 2001

     

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