IM Company Coderus: Farming Background To Growing High Tech CompanyNovember 3, 2015
From a farming background, Founder and Managing Director of App Developer Coderus, Mark Thomas has made a rather transformational career change, growing software developing company, Coderus, into a global player – now working with the likes of Microchip, Bowers & Wilkins and Apple.
Mark began his working life on his family farm, progressing to assisting in the day-to-running. From an early age, Mark has been dealing with suppliers and contractors and building foundations for what became a natural path. His interest in technology and development led him to seek a career beyond farming and he went on to spend 14 years working as a software developer at BT.
Mark says, “It’s the combination of a firm business background, coupled with the invaluable experience and training gained at BT, that gave me the confidence to realise my dream of running my own software development company.”
Mark founded Coderus in the late 90s, then operating out of his spare room. When questioned about the name, Mark says with a smile that in no way was it influenced by the popularity of the Toys’R’Us-style branding, but rather an anagram of ‘sourced’. He wanted to portray a company that provides solutions, but be innovative and differentiate himself from traditional software consultancies.
Mark recalls fondly, “As the business grew over time, so did the addition of hardware and boxes and reached the point where the business was outgrowing my house. A kitchen renovation project finally proved to be the last straw and forced me to find a more permanent and suitable base.”
In September 2011, Coderus joined the high-tech cluster of companies at Innovation Martlesham, Adastral Park. The office is based in one of the modern glass ‘pod’ buildings on the park – perfectly befitting of a cutting-edge high-tech company. Upon moving to his new office, Mark bought new desks and computers in order to prepare for his ambitious growth plans. He comments, “I knew I needed to put talented people in front of those computers.” This was particularly true given the increasing amount of work that Coderus was being given by premium audio technology company, Bowers and Wilkins.
In 2012, Bowers and Wilkins appointed Coderus as their sole software development supplier. This sparked greater growth within the company and the appointment of more resource from Suffolk’s finest app-developer talent. Coderus employs a heady mix of expertise from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, including international blue chip companies, along with a great deal of fresh talent straight from University. Mark explains, “I believe you are only as good as the team around you. Searching for the next creative talent is always a key focus for Coderus – aside from our social responsibility, we need this to propel the business forward.”
A major highlight for Coderus was being awarded design partner status by global hardware manufacturers, Microchip earlier this year. This prestigious accreditation means that Microchip has appointed Coderus to fill a specialist app development gap in their UK and European markets. (Click here to read more).
Other key highlights this year include expanding in to new offices at the Cambridge Technology Park, as well as further expansion into much larger accommodation within the Ross Building at Innovation Martlesham, Adastral Park, where there is a buzz of passion and creativity.
A further proud moment for Mark was Coderus hosting in association with Innovation Martlesham, sponsored by BT and the IP Network, one of only nine prestigious Google I/O Extended events in the UK – streamed live from the Moscone Centre in San Francisco to the lecture theatre at Adastral Park.
Reaching the dizzy heights of running a global software development operation hasn’t caused Mark to forget his farming roots, however, he loves going back to visit his parents’ farm with his family when he gets the chance. “It’s a great way to unwind and think about other things”, he comments. Amusingly Mark adds, “my parents still use the VAT programme I wrote for them when I was 13!”
Coderus has been developing software in Suffolk, with impact on a global-scale, for almost 20 years and has every intention to continue to do so.