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My Fuck Up CV

My Fuck Up CV

Video available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuOQ1KDmrKs

"Over the last 10 years, I've gone from being a Comp Science student to a developer, to an agency owner, to an ecommerce evangelist. This has given me the opportunity to fuck up in a range of roles and responsibilities! All that practice means I've now gotten the hang of how to royally screw up a situation. So whether you want to overwrite production DBs, get removed from client Christmas card lists, or offer two for one hot tubs to all your client's customers, come and learn from the best in the business."

Talk given at the London Magento Meetup on 19th September 2018


Tom Robertshaw

September 19, 2018


  1. My Fuck Up CV Tom Robertshaw @bobbyshaw

  2. • Uniquely positioned to both: ◦ Take down a production

    site ◦ Registering a company limited by guarantee. Developer come business Person
  3. Patrick Stewart as: Narrator

  4. Not in a million years, Tom

  5. Let’s go right back, to University and meeting my business

  6. Nick Jones A gentle Welsh giant.

  7. • With perl, everything looks like an opportunity to parse

    text. • Nick asked me to parse a MySQL backup • Picture me, proudly using perl to parse an SQL file. Perl ninja
  8. Tom, you eejit.

  9. Proud Graduates

  10. • First project was to finish another agency’s project. •

    I went through the outstanding tasks that they’d documented. • Agreed on a good price for the work. The Ghost work
  11. Tom did not get a good price.

  12. • Double your price Fridays • There’s no good answer

    to “Are you taking the piss”. Charge what you’re worth
  13. • We worked hard on a new site launch. •

    We followed our checklist. • Oh, except we’d blocked Google indexing. Attention to Detail
  14. • You have your principles • Then you have what

    the client wants • You have that angry email from a client. • And then you have a decision about how to respond. The customer is always right
  15. • Tom takes Nick to meet a prospective client Nothing

    but Professional
  16. If you say so

  17. • Somehow, we won that client. • But things didn’t

    end there. Nothing but Professional
  18. How have you even made it this far.

  19. • Who books an office Christmas party on a Wednesday?

    Responsible with Alcohol
  20. Tom does.

  21. • Paying the VAT bill twice. • Hiring too early/late.

    • Avoiding conflict and not having radical candor. • Getting worked up and galloping into conflict. • I know what I’m doing, I don’t need a code review. And plenty others
  22. • So many mistakes seem awful in the moment but

    hilarious after. • But not all. • Some are more expensive. Tragedy + Time = Comedy
  23. • I burnt myself trying to start a second company.

    • This lead to a bout of depression. • Through therapy I’ve learnt a lot more about myself BURNOUT
  24. • Not just about your credentials and companies on your

    CV. • A lot of mine has been about emotional intelligence. Professional Growth
  25. • All of this has made me wiser. • I

    want to make more mistakes. • Mistakes make life exciting. Make mistakes
  26. Nice work.

  27. Thanks @bobbyshaw