Mark Owen: Office Saint

As the number of people who willingly participate in being profiled dwindles, it will come as a relief to many (including me) that this week’s profile is on Mark, one of Web Applications’ nicest and most obliging developers. Mark is one of the young ones in the office and is still full of hope, happiness and excitement for the future. While I in no way want to imply his anticipation of good things is misplaced, I do want to take note of its refreshing (and often undervalued) quality and its positive impact on the office as a whole.

Mark is a Software Engineer, which in his case is a fancy way of saying a developer. He’s been with Web Applications since June and so joined the company just in time to help move everything from the old office to our new premises in Windsor Works. In case you forgot about the move, let this be a refresher. Mark’s taken a year out from his course at Manchester University to spend some time with us before he goes back and finishes his final year and gets his degree in Computer Science. I did say he was a young one. Mark’s a great addition to the Web Applications team; he’s not going anywhere soon and we have every hope when he returns to Uni his spirit will still be firmly intact.

Mark has worked on two different teams since he began, starting on Robin’s team and then moving to Kerry’s team three months ago during an office reorganisation. I continually find it difficult to ask developers what they do because there is so much work under the umbrella of ‘development’. One of the key areas in development is client customisations and Mark works primarily within Tr@veller and Babel. His other big time commitment is testing co-workers customisations. While I thought this had the potential to be really fun, in fact it’s Mark’s least favourite part of his job due to the painstakingly slow process of testing.

Now, a bit more about the person. Mark tends to fly a bit under the radar here at Web Applications; he has so far managed to maintain the persona of a perfectly well behaved, mild mannered, student. If you believe it I do. He is from St Helens; and supports his local Rugby League Team, the Saints. I managed to add a ton of confusion to a simple rugby league team from St Helens by switching it in my mind with St Mirren…yes I know, different country different sport. Helen Mirren must have dancing about in my head which led me to associate St Helens with the Scottish Premier League football team. St Helens, St Mirren, I think you can see the confusion, especially on Mark’s face more than mine. Anyway, to be clear, Mark has nothing to do with the St Mirren team, and St Helens is nowhere near Scotland. Phew, that’s over.

Mark is very excited to be playing in the Wii tournament which will start on Monday. He did well placing 6th or 7th in the last tournament, which was Mario Kart Wii, but I’m afraid he drew the short straw a bit on this one. On Monday, Mark is scheduled to play