HIGH FLYERS: Self-confessed geek James is the garden coder . . .

James Campbell
James Campbell

In the High Flyers spotlight this week is James Campbell, co-founder and chief technology officer at SciLeads

What was your first job?

I was a cleaner for the Belfast Trust for six years and I absolutely loved it and met amazing people who had a big influence on me. I only left when I completed my conversion course and started as a developer.

What qualifications do you have?

Even though I spent my childhood teaching myself how to code, I hadn’t actually realised that the hobby I loved could be a career. So I did a degree in applied physiology because of my interest in science. I then decided IT was the career path I wanted so straight after my degree I did an IT conversion course. As fate would have it, the combination of life science and IT was perfect for launching SciLeads.

What do you attribute your success to?

Doing what I love has become my career, cliché as it may sound. Some people credit my work ethic, but the truth is, I work hard because I genuinely love what I do. Also, remote work has been a game-changer for me, allowing me to focus on coding without office distractions.

How would you describe yourself to someone who’s never met you?

A geek! Just because I am happiest coding on my laptop while sitting in the garden with my family and dogs.

How do you get the best out of the people who work for you?

Put them in an environment that suits them. That’s why we work remotely, to give people the flexibility to work around their home life. We also provide a great work-from-home allowance to create their perfect working environment as it’s really important to me to have the right tools to code.

If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

The weather! I work best when coding outside and unfortunately, our weather is very hit-and-miss.

What website or app could you not do without?

Miro. It’s a remote whiteboard that allows you to recreate that atmosphere of productivity and collaboration that some people feel they struggle to recreate remotely.

Who do you look up to in business?

Matt Mullenweg of WordPress. I've always respected what he built and how he built it. They were Remote First before Remote First was properly a thing. I've always looked into how they nurtured and grew their team in that dynamic, along with the challenges they faced.

What was the last book you read?

Philip Pullman- Book of Dust series. I’m not a fan of coding books as I feel like they are dated before they are published and I am too impatient and just want to dive in with both feet first.

What’s your greatest passion outside work & family?

Ha, my passions are work and family! I guess Formula One and Newcastle United.