A day in the life of...

Martin Winetrobe, business systems analyst

Martin Winetrobe, business systems analyst

Business systems analyst Martin Winetrobe is one of the lynchpins between our clients and developers. He's the guy that makes sure the specifications accurately reflect what the client wants before the developers start work on the code. Then when the code is written, he makes sure it works properly. Well, it's a little more complicated than that, so we'll let Martin talk you through an average day...

"Every day is different, but I try and structure it as best I can. It doesn't always work out, so some days are just a case of doing what needs doing most urgently. But I've been in this industry since 1984 and I love getting to the bottom of a problem, so whatever the day throws at me I'm usually ready for it!

"My first job every morning is to triage my emails to prioritise anything that's come in overnight. That could be anything from a change to a spec that's not yet been coded or a request to investigate a query about a live system. Queries about live issues can usually be solved there and then, but some problems I must refer to developers.

"My activities with clients tend to be in two main areas. The first is talking to new and existing clients to determine business requirements, writing specifications to detail the work they want us to do and then any discussions and negotiations around that. When the specifications are agreed the developers will then estimate their hours and a cost, and if the client is happy with that our technical director Steve will create a schedule for the work. When that's done, and the developers have written and program-tested the code, it comes back to me to work on the system testing.  I need to make sure that the code all works as it should, particularly in relation to other areas of the overall system, and that it is consistent with the specification the client agreed.

"I usually have a bit more knowledge about the business scenarios that are involved because I've had a lot of contact with the client about how they want things to work. I pass my observations back to the developers for them to correct and the cycle repeats until everything I can see has been covered. Then we move things along to the client testing stage, known as user acceptance testing, or UAT.  I'm a kind of buffer between developers and clients, if there are any queries I'll try and answer them without using a developer's time but if there are any issues I can't explain it'll go back to the developer then go through the cycle again. I keep myself in the loop when everything's live to make sure it all works smoothly.

"I also have responsibility for ISO27001, which is a very comprehensive standards accreditation that we successfully achieved in 2015. It covers information security and the processes surrounding that and includes everything from our servers to laptops right down to power supplies or external door controls. There's a huge amount of work involved; some companies have teams of external consultants, but we're doing it all in house.

"Everything has to be logged, discussed with our in-house team and then reviewed periodically, so as you can imagine it's quite a task! I try and fit it in whenever I can and it's very much an ongoing process. Client work takes priority, obviously, but I manage to stay on top of my in-house work and meet my own deadlines so if anyone needs anything I know it's done and can respond straight away.

"I haven't been doing this for 30 years without learning how to be efficient - and diplomatic!"

The Team

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I get to work on many different interesting cutting-edge web-based projects for many different types of clients. I’m learning new things about IT, about our clients' businesses, and about myself all the time.

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Martin Winetrobe, business systems analyst