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4 years as Dev Lead – what James has learned

Here some insights from James Hobbs, Digital Development Lead at Dyson. James has worked at Dyson for 5 years and prior to that worked for a national charity, local government and various small businesses.

Our catch up with James is part of our ‘wisdom’ series. We asked him what ‘key things’ he’s learned and could pass on to those within the Tech sector, those working in the same profession as well as the next gen of talent – beyond the actual skills it takes to do what he does.

Here the attempt to capture some of James Hobbs’ wisdom within 5 short and sharp key points.


1. Be the first to stick your hand up.
I’ve always tried really hard to be the first to stick my hand in the air and volunteer for things at work. It’s helped me establish a reputation for getting things done, for being proactive, and for being someone who can be counted on. Over time, occasionally having to volunteer for the less glamorous stuff pays off!

2. Keep pushing yourself.
It’s very easy to stay inside your comfort zone with technology, but it’s also very easy to get left behind. Keep up with technology – it’ll make you better at adapting to the unknown and more versatile, both very valuable qualities to an employer.

3. Keep it maintainable.
If you’re working as part of a team, nobody will thank you for trying to be clever or for optimising things prematurely to the point where they’re unreadable. Think of your teammates and keep it simple and maintainable.

4. Think about the customer.
It’s very easy as a developer to fall into the trap of focusing on the technology rather than the customer. The best developers I’ve worked with have always been able to put a pragmatic hat on and imagine the implications of their work on the end user. This is hugely important.

5. Don’t be too serious all of the time.
You spend a huge amount of time at work, you might as well spend some of that smiling and laughing. If you’re lucky enough to have a job where you get along with your colleagues, make sure you get away from your screens occasionally and have some fun!

Thank you James for sharing!

In case you are considering a career within Tech, but are not sure what options and avenues there are, we’ve gathered this to give you a starting point…