Meet the Team: Aaron Bott

When group chief technology officer Aaron Bott designed his first piece of computer software at the age of eight, it was a sign of things to come. Here, the computer whizz-kid talks us through his career in IT and why the sky’s the limit for First4Lawyers.

Working with computers has always come naturally to me, even as a child when it was all very new. My first one was a Commodore VIC-20 that lasted about three days before it blew up!

I wrote my first piece of computer software when I was eight years old – an order processing system for a family friend’s business. I found computers easy to use and interesting to play around with so when it became an option at school, it was the obvious choice. I went onto do a BTech in computer programming at college. My tutor always knocked a mark off because she didn’t like the way I formatted my work differently to hers so I could never get above 99%!

I’ve written software for local authorities, hospitals and motor and aerospace companies to name a few and I’ve worked with and managed teams all over the world. I think remote working is quite normal in IT, so it’s been interesting to watch everyone else catching up.

I’ve been in the industry for 40 years and I think the changes brought about by the pandemic are some of the biggest and fastest I have seen in that time. People eventually realised that whatever you wanted, you could do it online and that you didn’t have to be in an office to run a business or get things done.

The nature of the legal sector, where matters are typically serious and highly confidential, has meant that tech adoption has met with some resistance, but I think people can now see the benefits and are embracing it more.

There’s no typical day in IT. There’s always some legacy code to look after, but aside from that no two days are the same and businesses are starting to realise the huge potential of technology. That’s what attracted me to First4Lawyers – they had a system that worked, but also the vision and ambition to create a better one that would truly transform the customer journey and, with it, their place in the market. It’s exciting for me because I’ve been given the opportunity, not only to build that system in-house and from scratch but to recruit my perfect team to help me do it. We recently welcomed a developer and a technical architect and there will be more appointments in the pipeline. I only joined in May this year so it’s still early days but watch this space!

Working in IT can mean putting in a lot of antisocial hours, for example, if systems need updating or implementing when colleagues aren’t in the office. When I do have any spare time, I spend it on my other interests. I’ve never been one for sitting still, I prefer to keep busy.

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