Michael Walters, Product Unit Lead – Shopkeeper
As the Product Unit Lead for Shopkeeper, I manage the Shopkeeper team and ensure clients get the most out of the product. Having a broad knowledge of programming languages, software architecture, and technologies means that I can help the team create Shopkeeper documentation and processes. Markinson’s culture is always positive and encourages interaction across all the teams. Book club, trivia, and team days are just some of the ways everyone interacts and gels. We also have an excellent learning environment where upskilling is supported and encouraged. The need for remote working and the introduction of hybrid working models required as we expanded our team, has meant that teams now often contain international members and has brought about a cultural shift within teams. These changes facilitated learning about cultural differences and the importance of employee-led coaching; instead of “Managing” everyone the same way. Team and project coordination has also been an area of renewed learning, driven by the need for alternative solutions that ensure all team members have the same chance to succeed, leading to improved client outcomes. If I had a chance to give my 16-year-old self any advice, it would be to not measure other people by your standards. Instead, measure people by business/project objectives – not how closely they did a particular task to how I would have done it. There’s a reason we hired them, let them be the expert. Leverage what they’re good at. Something most people may not know about me is that I tend to shift from one hobby to another quite quickly – diving quite deep when I do. I could hit the bullseye with a bow and arrow more times than not, at 30 metres in my early twenties (which is harder than it might sound!). I have sewn bridesmaids’ dresses for multiple weddings; I’ve got photography that has been sold online and featured in magazines (and I’m currently into astrophotography). I also paint miniatures and do cross-stitch. I play tabletop games like Warhammer and Dungeons and Dragons with friends and family. I also colour my hair a crazy colour every winter. The whole family gets involved – at least, they all share their ideas and opinions. One of my greatest strengths is my personability. I would like people to know that they can talk to me if they’re having a hard time. As a parent of three kids (all with high levels of special needs), I know what it’s like to be having a tough time at home or worried about how stress or mental health might impact other parts of my life. I’ve also had depression and can empathise with how that can affect a person. I share this because I want people to know that these things are far more common than we think they are and that I’m here to talk to. While I love technology, it’s safe to say that social media has skewed our perceptions about what life is actually like. It’s not always pizza and puppies, sometimes we have a bad day. I’d rather people feel like they could speak to me than feel they are alone.