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Dean Wood on joining Cucumber

Spotlight on the newest member of the Cucumber family:

This month we start a new series where you get to know the member of the Cucumber family a little better. We kick this off with the new kid on the block; Dean Wood, who has joined Cucumber to help us build awesome relationships with our clients.

Question:
What’s your background prior to coming on board at Cucumber?

Answer:
It’s been a breath of fresh air coming over to the dark side of digital solutions and development. Prior to joining Cucumber I had 20+ years in IT infrastructure roles – for the same company.

Question:
What were your first impressions coming into the business?

Answer:
The team at Cucumber have been awesome and made the transition much smoother than I ever imagined. From the little gift basket beside my desk when I started, the special cake for morning tea on the first day, lunch out the next day and a fairly well organised induction process. It felt like this business had their $hit together.

But the one thing that has impressed me the most is the people – a ton of “A Players” who actually know their stuff. I don’t know how they do it so consistently, but Jodie, Clare, Ian and the team really attract great people. Having great people to lean on is very handy for someone like me who has really jumped in the deep end of a big new adventure.

Dean Wood Cucumber

Question:
What is your role and what does this entail?

Answer:
I’ve come on board as a Business Manager, getting to know and looking after our customers in the Bay of Plenty region. It’s been an interesting few months coming to grips with everything we do, and as I keep telling some of my infrastructure colleagues – we don’t sell products, we sell solutions, fix business problems and help to improve business process.

Question:
What’s been your biggest surprise to date?

Answer:
We definitely don’t just do websites, as Cucumber were initially known for. Don’t get me wrong, we still do websites but they are usually much more than just simple brochure sites. Many of the solutions are focussed on customer experience or customer acquisition and have integration to backend ERP or CRM solutions. 

As I’m quickly finding out, the team love to get involved in new things. Spearheaded by our CTO Tim King and backed by our considerable business analysis and development capability, we’ve recently been involved in many business enabling projects. Examples include building a custom application for a multinational professional services business, dashboarding data and delivering insight from PLCs controlling heavy machinery and delving deep into databases for executive reporting and business insight.

A few months back I had no clue what Agile development meant – and no, it doesn’t mean all the developers do yoga and are flexible. We use Agile methodologies for the majority of our projects. I’m no Agile expert but have definitely seen the benefits of getting customer feedback quickly and adjusting output mid-flight to meet customer requirements and expectations.