Introducing Jo Ryall, Solutions Architect at Filter.
Jo joined the Filer Digital team in 2018 bringing a strong track record of innovation, growth and change management to the team. Here we ask him about his career and his role.
1) Describe your role in no more than 100 words
My role at Filter Digital is as a Solutions Architect, which I like to describe as ‘Google Translate’. I mostly work out ways of solving problems for businesses by joining together bits of existing software or by designing things that fit in between existing software. So, I either glue things together or work out what the missing piece is. As a business we produce the missing piece which can be anything from a mobile app to a spreadsheet. I model how things work, how things can work and configure, it’s all problem solving stuff.
2) What’s your background?
Throughout my career I have worked in start-ups and rapidly growing businesses, solving problems, developing new products and changing products to. I have run teams in development and customer support, managed technical teams, systems integration, IT infrastructure and expansion.
I actually started my career as a maths teacher though but after 6 years I decided to freelance as a web developer. I joined Hostway in 2001 developing billing, control panel and ticketing systems. I then became responsible for all EMEA operational, technical and engineering staff. I then moved to Fasthost intranet as Director of Customer Experience. In 2008 I co-founded COLT THINKGRID HOLDINGS, specialising in telecommunications. After 7 years, I then moved to Virtuozzo as VP Operations, a leading hyperconverged infrastructure software provider.
3) Why did you join the team at Filter Digital?
I had a long-established relationship with Paul as we had previously worked together at Hostway. Filter were undergoing rapid growth and they approached me to see if I would like to join them. For me, it was a great opportunity to apply my skills and experience as part of a smaller team that was working with some great clients on exciting and challenging projects.
4) Describe a successful project you have worked on
For me, it’s about helping support a business achieve its aims. I recently worked on a Reminders project for Medivet which allow them to send messages/reminders to pet owners about appointments, vaccinations and updates. 6 months into its launch, Medivet are now sending out over 60,000 messages per month to their customers with over 100 different templates that can be used. With ongoing enhancements and expansion to the work we have delivered, the project continues to be technically interesting and rewarding.
5) What software tools do you use?
To be honest, I mainly use data bases such as SQL and MySQL and spreadsheets, but there are a number of tools I do use to support the work I deliver.
Amazon Web Services and AZURE I use for hosting and what I call ‘pruning’ data. Text Editors are great to enable me to analyse textual data and Postman (API) testing tool helps me to ask questions and interpret the answers.
6) What’s been your hardest problem to solve technically?
They are all really hard until its fixed! Every day throws up different challenges. Some tools have limitations which can be frustrating and often you don’t know what the risks are until you have done it.