About Original Software

Sara Ponsford

Head of Product Management

bio-sara-ponsford

One of the longest standing employees at Original Software, Sara joined as a Client Support Analyst in 1998 and has held positions including Customer Service Manager and QA Manager.

With over 15 years experience in the IT industry, Sara started her career as a programmer. This technical background, combined with excellent customer service, has helped her throughout her career and makes her a very well-rounded, unique team leader. She has the ability to see things from a user’s perspective and understand what they want to achieve, whilst at the same time, being able to understand what is attainable from a technical perspective.

From a Quality Assurance point of view, Sara’s ability to drill down and isolate an issue as well as her problem solving skills are great assets and have been honed throughout motherhood, an invaluable skill when you have two children!

Sara has been able to fulfill her love of travel whilst employed at Original Software, visiting customers throughout Europe, America and Australasia. This extensive travelling has not only broadened her communication skills but allowed her to pick up numerous frequent flyer points and a large selection of those tiny hotel room toiletry samples.

After the birth of her son Joey in 2004, Sara was approached to start the QA department at Original Software, allowing her to spend more time at home in the UK, enjoying family life. Sara built the department from scratch, creating QA processes and recruiting staff. The company now has a healthy 3 to 1 developer to QA ratio, and uses its own products and processes in the software testing cycle.

With a busy family life, Sara spends the majority of her free time with trips to the beach and Paulton’s Park. When she manages to snatch some time for herself, Sara likes to indulge in her favorite vice of shoe shopping.

An Interview with Sara

Q – What is the best business lesson you’ve learnt and how did you learn it?
A – When thou have been tasked with upgrading thy iSeries to the latest version of the Operating System and thy boss asks thee to firstly check that the new version is compatible with thy customers still on an older version so that thou can continue to ship them software, which after all is thy business, do it! Otherwise thou willst have to spend thy entire weekend wiping aforementioned iSeries and restoring to the System Backup (which fortunately thy did taketh prior to making thy monumental mistake).

Q – Who do you most admire and why?
A – Barbie. She looks good in anything, never ages, can do the splits, and even if you have only one Barbie she seems to have a limitless supply of shoes!

Q – What do you like to do in your spare time?
A – Spend time with friends and family, walk along the beach (especially in winter), go to the theatre, shop (especially for shoes and clothes for my daughter).

Q – I couldn’t live without?
A – My kids.

Q – Cheese and wine or a pint and crisps?
A – Could I go for wine and crisps please?

Q – Who in your opinion was the best James Bond?
A – Daniel Craig, this needs no explanation!

Q – What was the first music single you ever purchased?
A – ‘Shaddup Your Face’. This needs lots of explanation but I’m afraid I don’t have one!

Q – Your favourite movie and why?
A – ‘Love Actually’ for almost every scene, here is one of them (you might have to edit out the swear words) but it’s when the new Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) meets his staff, one of which is Natalie (Martine McCutcheon).
Prime Minister, over here! Welcome, Prime Minister. How are you?
– Erm…Cool. Powerful.
Would you like to meet your household staff?
– Yes, I would like that very much indeed. Anything to put off actually running the country.
This is Terence. He’s in charge.
– Morning, sir.
– Good morning. I had an uncle called Terence. Hated him, I think he was a pervert. But I very much like the look of you.
This is Pat.
– Hello, Pat.
Good morning, sir. I’m the housekeeper. Oh, right. It should be easier than the last lot. No nappies, no teenagers, no scary wife. And this is Natalie. She’s new, like you.
– Hello, Natalie.
Hello, David. I mean, sir. S**t, I can’t believe I’ve just said that. And now I’ve gone and said “s**t”. Twice. I’m so sorry, sir.
– You could’ve said “f**k” and we’d have been in real trouble.
Thank you, sir. I had a premonition I was gonna f**k up on my first day. Oh, p**s it!
– Right, I’ll get my things and then let’s fix the country, shall we?

Q – Planes, trains and automobiles. Your favourite mode of transport and why?
A – I love motorbikes. There is nothing like the feeling of freedom you get riding a bike through the forest roads on a warm summers evening. Plus it’s a great way to do your Christmas shopping, beat the traffic and park anywhere! (Just make sure what you buy will fit in the panniers). Horse riding is also up there, for the same reason (freedom aspect, not Christmas shopping).

Q – If you weren’t working at Original Software, what would you be doing?
A – Cartography at the Ordnance Survey (geography graduate you see).

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