As an ecommerce professional, you’ll want to know who to call when things aren’t going well. Our problem-solving duo at GPMD are Dan and Tom - two talented ecommerce solutions specialists that help solve any site related problems our clients might have.
Whether they are helping clients with their day to day, tracking issues on client websites, or collaborating with the rest of the team, these two have built up a wide range of skills. But what exactly does their job entail? We sat down with them to find out...
Let’s start at the beginning. What is your background in and when did you join GPMD?
Dan: I’m Dan, I’m from Brazil, but have been in London for 13 years now. I graduated in advertising and worked as a copywriter back home in Brazil and only got into ecommerce around 6 years ago, working for SEGA. I spent some time working in Quality Assurance (QA) and then moved on to become a content executive at another company called Green Man Gaming. I worked in a number of areas including Content Management Systems (CMS), hosting and agile environments - to name a few. I joined GPMD a year and a half ago during the company’s 20 year anniversary, which was really fun - lots of parties and human interaction at that point.
Tom: I’m Tom and I’ve been in the ecommerce industry for 11 years now, which seems like a lifetime! Prior to that, I was trying to become a music producer/musician/rock god, which is still a passion and side hobby of mine. Around 11 years ago, a friend of the family was running an ecommerce agency at its infancy, I joined the office and did the bits and bobs which led me into becoming “the SEO guy” at the company. When they moved away from SEO, I made myself invaluable - taught myself Magento and headed up their support. I also taught myself to program and wanted to freelance as a web developer, building Wordpress blogs and the likes. That was about five years ago and it was at that point that I created a LinkedIn profile and after a few months, GPMD reached out to me to join as a support manager, I said yes and here we are.
What does your typical day look like?
Dan & Tom: Actually, our day can pretty much change every day, which is exciting and it means we don’t really fall into a set routine. We mainly support our clients’ needs as well as optimising, fixing, and discussing their projects with them. We are the frontline between our clients and developers. If there’s anything that we can’t solve ourselves, we bring in a developer and scope out what needs to be done. About half of our time is spent on support work, whereas the other half is project work for our clients and we work very closely with GPMD’s project managers Laura and Charlie, as well as Mark and John.
The project work is wide-ranging; it can be anything from helping developers to scope out issues that they need help with, like configurations on a website, or things like handling website migrations (CMS, redirects, testing etc - anything that doesn’t need heavy dev inputs).
Right now, as an agency, we are focusing heavily on PWA and headless commerce. Many of the projects that we are working on are PWA, but we are still on a learning curve and still in the process of understanding how the technology needs to be implemented for our clients. It is also a fundamental change in the way that development usually goes, so we are trying to be at the forefront of this new technology and to match and understand the issues that are part of this - which is all part of the fun!
What do you most enjoy about your job?
Dan: Tom is what I enjoy most about the job! Tom and I hit it off right away when I joined. We have a similar perspective, respect for each other, and Tom is easy-going and very knowledgeable - he was an easy match.
Tom: My favourite part is Dan as well. There was a lot of common ground right from the beginning, which was really nice, especially since I was running this by myself and my time was getting split up into too many directions. The phase before Dan joined was probably my most stressful time I’ve had here and it was great to have someone who could hit the ground running so quickly.
Dan & Tom: In general, the whole team is fantastic - we are a very close knit group, who work hard and there’s a lot of communication across the teams. We are in a very collaborative environment and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have that. On top of the team, one of the best things about the job is that it’s constantly changing. Every project is different; Different clients, different verticals, different company size - everything! and we try our best to build a rapport with the client, for instance they can book a Hangout with us whenever they need it, to ensure that it’s not a mundane relationship, but a positive experience. The added benefit is that we don’t get bored - we always challenge ourselves while trying to learn something new, get a better understanding of topics and expand on our current skills.
We know you have a broad range of experience, but what do you both specialise in and what are you most excited about coming up in support in 2021?
Tom: I am a specialist in Magento and SEO since my background is predominantly in those areas, but as my career has progressed in my five years at GPMD, I’ve also begun to focus more on other platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce and Shopware, which has also been interesting and in some cases, I'm doing less of the custom work. I am, however, currently starting my transition from solutions specialist into solutions architect, which means that I’d be building projects from the ground up, i. e. understanding client requirements, scoping out projects and deciding on the best way to achieve what they need. This is the ideal next step for me to grow in my career. I am excited to take on this new challenge as there’s a lot to learn and I'm ready for it!
Dan: Since we already had a Magento specialist, I branched out more into Shopware in terms of ecommerce platforms. I am also specialising in Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and now I can work on that more with our current clients. Additionally, as Tom moves into his new role, I will be taking on the support specialist lead role and will help build out the support team with new hires in the upcoming months.
There you have it! If you are looking to join GPMD’s support team and be part of the growth for this team see our careers section for more information.