Tales from Lockdown: Martin Johnson
In this series, we speak to Xenomorph employees and ask them to share their experience of lockdown, how it has impacted their day-to-day lives and if they have any tips or recommendations for their colleagues. Today’s conversation is with Xenomorph Quality Assurance (QA) manager Martin Johnson in London.
Xeno: Tell us a little about yourself and your role at Xenomorph?
Martin: I graduated from Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, in Metallurgy in 1983, unfortunately an industry downturn meant jobs for new metallurgists were scarce. Fortunately I had an interest in computers, so after a series of roles as a programmer and systems analyst, I moved into testing and QA, and 15 years ago I joined Xenomorph as QA manager. Co-ordinating a team of five test analysts, my role is to deliver verified software and supporting artefacts, such as help and installation documentation, to our clients.
Xeno: How has the lockdown changed your day-to-day routine?
Martin: Not having to rely on public transport to get to and from the office means mornings are less stressful and I get to have my evening meal earlier. Fortunately, at Xenomorph, we have always made efficient use of remote working so it was a seamless transition to full-time remote working.
Xeno: What aspect of the lockdown have you found hardest, either from a personal or professional perspective?
Martin: Not having the face to face interaction removes the non verbal clues, which makes picking up on issues and problems more challenging. I also missed out on taking doughnuts into the office to celebrate my birthday, which meant I missed out on finishing up the doughnuts left by those on a spring health kick.
Xeno: Are there any tips that you would offer to colleagues and industry peers at this time?
Martin: Keep in contact, even if it is just a periodic message effectively saying “I’m here if you need anything”.
Xeno: What positives can you take from this experience?
Martin: We reacted very quickly to the change, with no reduction in service delivery, I think this shows our flexibility and resilience.