After a little break, we’re back with another Employee Spotlight! This month, we’re learning more about Benjamin Hollway, our Senior Frontend Engineer. Benjamin joined Lean Library in May, and has already brought lots of new ideas to the team.
Read on to find out more about Benjamin – including hiking munros, 70s Japanese jazz and persisting in a new industry!
Can you tell us a bit about what you do at Lean Library?
At Lean Library I work on the tech or engineering team as a Frontend Engineer. My role has me working on lots of different projects but I focus primarily on the browser extension, with work also being done on Branded Download pages and infrastructure and development strategy.
What is your favourite thing about working at Lean Library?
For me one of the most important things about enjoying where you work is the people you get to work with. I’m writing this sitting in the airport on the way back from a smashing time with those colleagues down in the Cotswolds. It’s also great to work on a product that you know is helping others be more productive, save their time, and reduce stress.
What is your favourite Lean Library value and how have you seen it put into action?
It’s really hard to pick just one, but as my favourite and also seeing them put into action – we’re really good at each of our four values pushing each other to do the best we can. Right now I think it’s a blend between Pioneering and Persisting; Pioneering because we’re trying to bring some really innovative tooling into a very old institution – the library, and Persisting because my background isn’t in the library, education, or publishing sector so a lot of that is really new to me and I’m having to Persist.
What’s the best day you’ve ever had at work? Is there a particular project or milestone you are proud of?
I’ve had so many already, and I’ve only been here for a few weeks. I think one of my favourites is shortly after we launched the Branded Download pages and hearing a positive feedback loop so quickly from both the Lean Library team and also from some of our developing partners. I knew that my effort had made others more able to achieve their goals.
What three things are always on your desk?
Dog treats, my thermal water bottle (stay hydrated), and 3 different pairs of headphones!
You can choose up to four people (dead or alive) to join your dinner party. Who are they?
I think I’d probably pick some of my favourite musicians, enjoy a dinner and then have a jam session afterwards!
You need to put your head down and get some work done. Do you have a go-to song?
My taste jumps around a lot, and it really depends on what sort of mood I’m in. Currently when I want to focus I’m often listening to a 70s Japanese jazz playlist, but other times I want something more upbeat like Sigrid, Glass Animals, Tom Misch, Cory Henry, or Sylvan Esso.
It’s your day off. What do you have planned?
It’s almost certainly a hike. I’m currently attempting to (slowly) bag all the munros in Scotland, so I’ve got over 200 hikes planned which should keep me busy for a little while.
If you didn’t work at Lean Library or in your current role, what would you want to do?
As a child I always wanted to become an astronaut, but it turns out I’m too tall for that. I think it’d be fun to either run a bakery and café, or to do forest conservation work.
Look out for more team stories in next month’s Get to Know Lean Library post.