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Five Questions with Ryan Michael: Engineering Manager

We have a great team working together here at xDesign: our people (working on-site and remotely) are fun, intelligent, driven and make our company an exciting, friendly place to be. In this “Meet n’ Greet” series, we’ll introduce you to some of the incredible people working at xDesign who help us drive our growth and success, every day. This week, we’re highlighting our Leeds-based engineering manager, Ryan Michael. Read on to learn about his extensive experience in frontend development, his passion for supporting his team, and his one-word description of xDesign!

1. First things first! What is your role at xDesign and how long have you been with the company?

I’m an engineering manager at xDesign and I joined the team in January 2022.

2. What’s your professional background & what led you here?

Before joining xDesign, I had been working for the same digital agency in Leeds since I graduated from University (over 16 years ago!) where I started as a junior Flash developer. During this time I progressed into the role of head of frontend development and learned lots about technology, processes, and agency life along the way. But the aspect I found myself enjoying the most was building relationships with my team and helping them to progress in their own careers. With 16 years of experience behind me, and a desire to be in a more people-focused role, I started to explore what options were out there and came across an engineering manager position at xDesign. It felt like the natural next step for me, and I was excited to work for a fantastic company who puts people at the heart of everything they do, with a really strong roster of clients.

3. What’s involved in your day-to-day role?

No two days are ever the same and that’s something I’ve really enjoyed in my short time here. There’s always a new challenge to face and opportunities to learn and grow. One of my main focuses is on my team of direct reports - we catch up frequently for 1-2-1s and we work closely together on personal development plans and growing their careers. I’m also part of a project team where I run agile ceremonies, liaise with clients on project health and delivery, and generally help to unblock the team and keep things running smoothly. I’m also finding that there’s lots of opportunities to be involved in other areas - for example, I help out with interviewing candidates for various roles, and I’m also involved in organising our next frontend team catch-up in Edinburgh!

4. What’s something you’re passionate about when it comes to your work?

At risk of sounding like a broken record, I get real enjoyment out of helping people! It’s a great feeling knowing that your involvement has helped somebody overcome a challenge or feel more confident in their abilities, and seeing people move onto bigger and better opportunities in their own careers is very rewarding.

5. Describe xDesign in one word.

Supportive.

We have a great team of people throughout the UK, both in office and remote. Learn more about how you can join the team over on our careers site.