Michael Strutt

Engineer | Leader | Mental Health Ally

Leader & Mental Health Ally

The latest chapter of my life is less about coding, and more about growth. My own personal growth, the growth of the engineers I mentor, and the growth of our industry as a whole.

I've updated my website to reflect this new direction my life has taken. I've kept all of the old blog posts, but most of the writing I do from now on will be around the subjects of mental health and well-being. I'll still be writing about experiences in my career, but this will most likely be more through a lens of work-life balance or the topic of burnout.

My most recent role as a Tech Community Lead at Potato focused on unlocking the potential of the engineers there and taking steps to inspire the next generation. I made sure that I shared my knowledge and experience, helping the team to grow not just technically, but mentally and emotionally as individuals. Showing that it's good to be vulnerable, it's normal to feel anxious about things like public speaking, and building the psychological safety for a team to try things out, ask questions and be unafraid to get something wrong, because it's all part of learning.

Alongside my role, I trained to be a part of the company's Mental Health Ally scheme. I see it as an incredibly important topic, and while the world is in a far better place than it used to be around the topic, I think we have a long way yet to come. I want to be actively involved in that growth and help to educate people, support those who need someone to talk to, and help break down the remaining stigma around mental health. It's something I'm pursuing both in all aspects of my life.

My Career As An Engineer

I graduated from Loughborough University with a 2:1 in Computer Science - which included a year-long professional placement as a User Experience Developer with the web agency Snow Valley.

At the end of my placement I was offered a permanent position with the company (which had since been bought by MICROS).They also offered to sponsor me throughout my final year of university, and offered several months of contracting work to fit in around my studies.

Upon returning as a Front-end Developer, I took on the responsibility of mentoring the new interns who were joining on their professional placements, and focused on honing my JavaScript skills, quickly becoming the go-to for any of the team's JavaScript needs. I stayed with the company for a further 2 years (in which time MICROS was acquired by Oracle), until I decided it was time for a new challenge.

In August 2015 I co-founded Big Wednesday IO with a few other talented individuals I had previously worked with. As is often the case with startups, we used up our initial funding building our MVP and were unable to secure aditional investment. It was a fun and incredibly educational 9 months that really put my skills to the test.

Since April 2016 I've been at Potato London, for the first of which my role was as a Senior Engineer. At Potato, as well as delivering solutions for clients such as Google, I'm heavily involved in Internship and Work Experience schemes we run.

My most recent role as a Tech Community Lead at Potato focused on unlocking the potential of the the engineers there and taking steps to inspire the next generation. I still contributed code to projects, but it wasn't my primary focus. I did more of supporting and mentoring the other engineers on projects and worked across teams to improve standards and processes at a company level.

All the code for this website is hosted on GitHub so please feel free check it out. It will probably give a better representation of my technical skills than any content I could put on here.