Simon Dixey "I’ve witnessed Traka’s growth and expansion over the years, and can honestly say that there is always something interesting and challenging around the next corner What first attracted you to work at Traka? I worked for Northamptonshire Police as a volunteer police officer and came in to contact with Traka’s Key Cabinets due to noticing officers and staff taking vehicle keys out of it. I’ve always had an interest in technology from childhood, so was intrigued at how this mystical box that held keys worked! At the time, I didn’t need or have access to the system due to not having a driving permit there. I decided to apply for a job as Police Staff and joined the ICT team as a Microsoft Systems Administrator and ANPR Technical Admin. Having close links with all areas of ICT, the team who looked after the Police Airwave Radios had a project to streamline their processes, and to cut a long story short, I was seconded to the Airwave team to develop a solution to integrate various Police systems, radio management, IT service desk and, Traka. I ended up liaising with the R&D team at Traka at the time to get some fairly specific remote functionality working, and ended up building a rapport with the Duncan Winner and Tim Davis… and the rest is history as they say. What do you like most about working at Traka? Traka started off (as many companies do) as a small business with few employees and a local and family oriented tight knit feel and the “being part of the family” ethos has remained to this day, even as we grow. The people at Traka generally exhibit a passion for what they do in their roles and care about the company, and this has to come through in the work that we do through internal and customer interaction, which makes us special. I enjoy being part of the family and positive impact on the ability for the business to succeed. Tell us about the best part of your role at Traka? I’ve witnessed Traka’s growth and expansion over the years (but not to the degree of some who have been here even longer than I), and can honestly say that there is always something interesting (and challenging!) around the next corner. There is never a dull moment, always a new problem to solve certainly from a software perspective. I also enjoy being a people manager and having the responsibility to utilise the people that I work with to deliver real world solutions to real world problems through software and I have always gained a sense of satisfaction by making a difference in this way, through my role and work within R&D. How would you rate your work-life balance? I have a responsibility to myself and the staff that I manage to keep momentum and meet deadlines, which occasionally means working a little later or in my own time to help achieve that. This requirement to ‘do more’ is a self-imposed responsibility, not one that has been dictated to me, but I recognise that it’s also important to keep a healthy balance between work and my home life. What motivates you to go above and beyond at work? I am invested in Traka and passionate about what we do. Part of that investment may be due to how long I’ve worked here, but it’s also part of me as I strive to give my utmost in my work. I gain satisfaction from being part of a department and team that delivers real world products and solutions, as well as due to being in a role where my thoughts and ideas are directly influencing how we operate as a Software Team and ultimately in the software solutions that we deliver to our end customers. What's your most recent accomplishment at work? Having been paramount to expanding our Software Development and Testing capability through recruiting what I believe are the right people, and witnessing the growth from a small team when I started of 4 people in Software, up to around 20 people at the time of writing. Do you believe we give authentic recognition in the workplace? Celebrating Success is really important factor for satisfaction and recognition of achievements. I believe this exists at Traka in many forms different, be it company briefings, company events, Avenue and so on, as well as through the regular appraisals. Do you think that Traka offer adequate opportunities for promotions and career development? Having personally been able to progress repeatedly within the business taking on additional responsibility and promotion to new roles, I know the potential exists. Further being part of ASSA ABLOY, there are potentially worldwide opportunities and importantly job security. How would you describe the culture at Traka? The people primarily, as well as how accommodating the business are both in terms of taking on board ideas for cultural change to things such as flexibility over working hours, providing fruit, opportunities to working from home, company provided tea and coffee (as trivial as it may sound) all contribute to a better environment to work in. I also appreciate that all of these conveniences aren’t necessarily rolled out in all areas for practicality or role related reasons, but it does show flexibility on behalf of the company and hopefully can set a template or provide useful for other areas to consider, all contributing to a nicer working environment and culture. Would you recommend Traka as an employer? I am pleased to say that I’ve already been able to influence this as I have recruited several people within my team through internal referrals. The people that know me know that I regard Traka as a good place to work and if there is a suitable opportunity for a friend, I’d certainly recommend Traka if the opportunity was right.