Making M2A Media one of the best places to work in TV
This year, M2A Media made it into the annual Broadcast Place Best Places to Work in TV, in the Top Non-Indies category. M2A is therefore among this year’s qualifying companies where 94% of employees declare themselves ‘very satisfied’ with their employer and 83% of employees say they have a good work/life balance.
As a people-centric business, this is a badge that we will wear with honour. Other key factors that define the Best Places to Work in TV in 2022 also include a robust training programme to boost skills, with a strong emphasis placed on enabling people to do the work they want to do. With this in mind, we asked our newly appointed Software Developer, Rob Kenworthy, to share the story of his journey from Operator to Engineer – exactly the career development we champion at M2A.
Hi Rob, thanks for chatting to us today. To start, please could you tell us a little about your background prior to joining M2A?
From a young age I was always interested in computers and how things work. I studied Computer Science, and then gained a First Class Honors degree in Broadcast Technology. After University I found my first job in broadcasting, working for the BBC iPlayer. This was an incredible opportunity and I learned so much about all the work that goes on behind the scenes. A personal highlight was working on the London 2012 Olympics to successfully deliver over 200 hours of live content making it available straight to catch up as soon as the broadcast had finished. This was before the days of cloud computing, which of course has taken live broadcast to another level since then. After that, I worked with some of the UKs biggest broadcasters, in operations and service delivery, before joining M2A Media, where I am today.
When did you join the company and what attracted you to M2A?
I’m approaching four years at M2A Media. I was already aware of M2A through connections made in previous roles, and from my time at DAZN (an M2A customer), working closely with the Operations team.
What drew me to M2A was the people… they are a lovely bunch! And of course I have a huge amount of respect for the founders Marcus Box and Marina Kalkanis who bring an immense amount of experience from their time at the BBC. As a company, they are progressive and forward thinking. M2A looks after its staff well and encourages personal development, which is really important to me.
I understand that you joined the team as a Media Operator. What did that entail?
Being a Media Operator, no two days are the same. As a team we manage the delivery of up to 500 million hours of streamed content from 25,000 live events a year, globally. No pressure, then!
M2A Media’s Operations team work 24/7 and are always on hand to quickly identify any issues, minimise customer impact and take actions to prevent recurrence. The role requires attention to detail and good communication skills. As we utilise AWS Media Services, some technical understanding is beneficial and I think that’s where our team excels.
What did you learn in that role? Any particular highlights or challenges?
This was my first role directly working with cloud services so a key aspect of my learning was getting to grips with AWS. With training and career progression backed by M2A, I was able to gain an industry-recognised credential by passing the AWS Cloud Foundation Accreditation. This demonstrates an overall understanding of the key technology used in my role.
It’s difficult to pick out one particular highlight, but there is never a dull moment in operations. Providing support to some of the biggest global sports brands is incredibly exciting!
More recently as the pandemic hit, M2A Operations were forced to work from home and this meant adapting to new ways of working. However, we were able to continue to provide the same high level of support to our customers, with the ability to access all of the tools and systems that were available to us in our Central London MCR.
What was the pathway to your new role? Was it a steep learning curve? How did M2A support you through the change?
From my time in Operations I was using our M2A CONNECT product every day. I think this experience has really helped me to look at the product from a user’s perspective. What excites me about my new role, as a Software Developer, is being able to work on the other side, playing a key part in providing solutions that make users’ lives easier.
At M2A staff are encouraged to develop themselves personally and professionally. My new team has been incredibly supportive over the past 10 months, guiding me and encouraging me to get stuck in from the start.
There definitely is a steep learning curve, but it’s important to take small steps and try not to put too much pressure on yourself. My new team were all juniors at one point, so they understand exactly how it feels to be at this level. Pair programming is an important part of learning and I regularly get together with another team member to work through problems. These collaborative sessions are invaluable to help improve your skills. At the same time I think it’s important to think for yourself and own problems from start to finish. Knowing when to ask for help is a key part of the learning process.
Learning the code can be daunting as it’s such a big subject, but with all of the free resources available online these days there definitely has never been a better time to learn.
How do you hope to evolve your career from here?
This is just the beginning for me working as an engineer and I hope to continue to learn new skills every day. I expect to gradually work on bigger product features as my experience grows and hope to play my part in creating the best user experience possible!
Do you have any advice for other people looking to evolve their careers in the way you have?
I think the best advice if you are thinking about a change is to just give it a try and see if it’s something that interests you. When I started learning to code, I knew instantly that this was something I wanted to keep doing. What’s great about M2A is having a mentor to guide me through the learning. It’s one thing taking online courses, but having a mentor really accelerates your learning.
And finally a classic quote that I live by – fail hard, fail fast and fail often, don’t dwell on it if something goes wrong.
Thanks for your time today Rob!
We are always on the lookout for talented, switched on individuals to join our team of video experts and help build the business. Please regularly check in at http://www.m2amedia.tv/careers for opportunities at M2A Media.
Additionally, to learn more about M2A Media and the work we do to support global broadcasters and sport-rights owners transition their live video workflows to the cloud, visit www.m2amedia.tv