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by Nick Rollings
Three months into my new job at Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP) feels like the right time to take a step back and chew over my first impressions of the company. The headline is that I’m really enjoying myself and I’ve been exposed to a lot in only a short time here – making the days fly by!
One of my first observations was the breadth of clients CDP serves and the wide range of projects being carried out. From ‘front-end’ innovation work for household names to some very cool technology and product development projects for large multinationals and also smaller start-ups.
As an engineer who’s particularly passionate about new technology and solving ‘real-world’ problems, the opportunity to work at the innovative, early stage of development was a key attraction for me. It’s been great to see that this kind of work is not just occasional one-off projects but actually closer to the majority of our work here.
Then there are the more intangible aspects of life here that have begun to shine through after a few weeks. CDP is a very nice-sized organisation where there is sufficient ‘critical mass’ and breadth of skills to make great things happen – yet it’s still small enough to ensure your contribution is visible and you can very clearly see the part you play in the company.
Project teams are given just the right degree of autonomy to get the job done in a way that satisfies client needs. Given the early-stage, innovative nature of a large number of projects, this approach is perfect and means project teams – and thus people – are not constrained to blindly following processes for the sake of it.
There is also very little of the corporate structure that can often stifle innovation and creativity – which is ideal for those (like me!) who just want to get on and create solutions. The hackspace is particularly great – a few hours spent building something can bring a concept alive very quickly!
The working environment here is also very pleasant – a mixture of character buildings and state-of-the-art facilities in a quiet rural location not subjected to Cambridge’s infamous traffic issues. I can even head out for a bike ride at lunchtime as spring approaches!
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