Meet Jack Ellis
National Careers Week 2023 has inspired us for the second year in a row, to showcase some of the exciting roles within our industry… which is only going to continue expanding and evolving. To do this we sat down with some of our most recent recruits to hear about their day-to-day and how their careers have progressed. We filmed Account Manager Charlie Neal for our first team talk and our Q&A with Phil Matthews, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management Developer, can be found here.
Jack joined us in September and has been passing various official NetSuite exams left, right and centre since. Read on to hear his journey from website developer to his role here as Technical Consultant at BrightBridge.
Tell us about your career to date
It’s over 10 years since I left school and I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to, but I enjoyed IT and ended up doing a BTEC in website design. I went straight into this field, freelancing, and developed Shopify websites and applications for many retail customers. After a few years, it got a bit lonely working on my own all the time and an opportunity came up for a part time web development role – just down the road from where I lived – with an electrical and home hardware retailer in their set up stage. It was just two others and myself and gradually the website was built, and I quickly became the go to for all IT. Within a year the business grew rapidly, and I became not just the website guy and the printer guy, but also the NetSuite guy! When I started looking at NetSuite it really appealed to me and felt familiar – because I was used to coding it seemed like a great next step.
We worked with a consultant to implement the system, but I had to become very hands on, very quickly, and before too long it was clear that I couldn’t be the everything guy any longer – the job was just too big. This was a crossroads for me. I could choose the safe option of continuing with the website and IT or take a leap with NetSuite. I think you know what happened next! I was thrown in at the deep end, but I really enjoyed learning the solution and taking the company to the next level with its features. However, there was only so much I could learn in-house, and I was curious to dive into more areas of NetSuite… and I’ve been working at BrightBridge since September 2022.
What do you do day-to-day?
My work comes through from a Functional Consultant (FC), either a support ticket has been raised due to an issue or a new customisation is required. Together we decide the best way of undertaking the implementation, because there’s always more than one way to do something. I code it and test it; the FC then tests it and it’s set live. For example, I’ve recently created a custom solution for a customer to be able to select multiple invoices and email them out together, rather than each invoice requiring its own email. If the ticket is a customer issue, often it’s because someone has made a change somewhere in NetSuite and they didn’t realise, or had forgotten, that the data is an element of another process. The change results in a field not being automatically populated, for example. It would be my job to look at the original documentation if it’s available and investigate to be able to make the fix.
What do you most enjoy?
It’s extremely rewarding going from a specification, to designing the solution to seeing it benefitting a customer. As I work on many different customers’ NetSuite systems, across different sectors, that all use different features, I’m learning a lot and that’s what makes every day enjoyable too – no two days are the same. BrightBridge is keen for us all to develop so if I’m not sure about something or it’s an area of work I’ve not seen before, it’s an opportunity to do some research and get as much out of the task as possible. The team is also what makes my job brilliant. There are so many experts, all from different backgrounds, so we work well supporting each other. I love that I can message another consultant and they’re always happy to answer questions – everyone here wants to learn and help others to expand their knowledge. Also, I’m working closely with Steve, the Head of Professional Services, to set targets on my learning and steer me down the most beneficial path for my career.
For anyone considering becoming a Technical Consultant, what traits are important?
You must enjoy learning, and the fast-paced nature of the job and the evolution of ERP software – it’s also important to be naturally curious. I often see just a small part of a feature, but I always want to go one step further to understand every detail, which then helps me to come up with the best solution; what is my work an element of, why is it needed and how does the business use it? For example, I learned about the amortisation process recently and that extra understanding didn’t just help with that project, but it also puts in me in a good position for the next bespoke customisation in that area.
You also have to think outside the box and assess the multiple ways of achieving your goal – which is the best way, presenting least risk and why. So being analytical is central to the role and of course having an eye for detail when coding. In many ways I was lucky I worked for a fast-growing company that selected NetSuite, or maybe I’d be still developing websites. I guess there’s a couple of lessons to be learned from my career path – understand your skills and see how they can be applied in different roles or sectors and don’t stick with something because you’re comfortable. It’s a good feeling to learn and grow.
If you’re looking for NetSuite expertise – for a first-time implementation, optimisation services or ongoing support – call us on 0330 133 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
Did you catch our other team talk Q&As and video blogs? If not, click here to read what Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer Phil Matthews and NetSuite Account Manager Charlie Neale had to say. And link to our team talks from 2022 can be found here in the last blog with Paul from our support team.