Jeremy Champion describes himself as ‘a nerdy introvert doing the job of an extrovert’. What he humbly doesn’t mention, is how great he is at doing that job. Leading technical development in IE’s retail team, with Magento and Demandware, Jeremy has led some of the agency’s most successful e-commerce projects, including the launch of sass & bide
’s first e-commerce store with a one-touch checkout.
Born and bred in Upwey, Melbourne, Jeremy now resides in the calm and cool suburb of Brunswick. He studied computer science at Billanook College and Monash University. He is constantly learning and growing his Magento skills as a developer; he’s an incredibly hard worker.
‘I try and live with as little stress as I possibly can. Living in the moment allows me to stay focused and relaxed, both in my work and home life. The stress melts away and you’re left with a clear head to work consistently and well.’
How he found his place
Upon graduating, Jeremy started working in digital. Building HR and account websites for Catchment Management Authorities around Victoria, as a junior he had the passion and drive to quickly move up in the company. His mentality was to grow.
‘Initially I only wanted to do what I thought would be immediately beneficial. I began to realise that focusing on what I couldn’t, or didn’t, want to do wasn’t very helpful. My focus shifted to all the different things I could learn doing new things, and how they’d be applicable to everything else.’
Before long, he’d moved onto a larger tech company, Fontis. This was his first job in e-commerce where he began working with Magento. Being a junior developer without much experience, he found himself rolling out entire system upgrades, database upgrades and building servers. In 5 years he worked his way up to Tech Lead.
‘After 5 years at Fontis, I’d outgrown my role and wanted a new start with smart, fresh people to learn from. I wanted to work with people that had the skills that I wanted; to keep my career moving,’ he explains.
‘Joining IE, I found a team with a great set of technical and leadership skills. I’ve been here since, leading and learning.’
For the entirety of Jeremy’s career he wants to continue learning and growing.
‘At IE, I’d love to go from leading a team within the agency, to leading the overall development group.’
His role at IE
Jeremy’s official title is ‘Magento Lead’, delivering Magento e-commerce sites. As the technical lead for IE’s Retail Team, he guides, assists and mentors the other developers. He also liaises between his team and the non-technical people in the business, so he’s often involved in pitching to and meeting clients.
‘I often spend time simplifying and explaining technical concepts to non-technical people to allow the teams to integrate and work together’.
In his experience, Jeremy has discovered that Magento allows for almost anything to be developed.
‘I can pretty much always complete whatever a retail client requires, using Magento. This builds excellent relationships with clients and makes work more flexible, agile and beneficial for everyone’.
‘One of my favorite professional moments was when I started IE; it was during the rollout of sass & bide’s first e-commerce store. Coming in at the end of the initial plan phase, I led the development and delivery of the project, and then the ongoing maintenance after it was live,’ he explains.
‘I arrived at the office around 7am (I think it was a Wednesday) to make sure everything was ready to go. We had a very smooth and steady ‘switch-on’ moment with the client. In this industry, that’s very rare and it felt so good.’
What has changed in the field?
‘As a developer, the biggest change I’ve seen is in the technology. 8 years ago, mobile phones were still on the incline, iPads weren’t a thing and the internet only really meant a desktop. Now the work we do needs work on devices ranging from billboards to in store kiosks, all the way to televisions and even watches!‘
‘Users have changed too, they expect vastly more and rapidly faster. In fact, the average consumer expects a page to fully load in under 3 seconds.’
Jeremy values living in the moment so he thrives in IE’s culture of staying relaxed, refreshed and focused at work.
‘It’s not just tolerated, it’s expected that you’ll take some time away from your work during the day to relax and stay refreshed. Sit down and read a book, have a quick game of pool or something that suits your interests.’
‘IE has a consistently fun and exciting culture. Everyone feels equal and communication is a fundamental part of the business. It’s an open plan office, so if I need to talk to James or Rhys, the Founders and Managers of IE, I can get up, walk a couple of metres and have a chat with them, maybe even a quick coffee.’
Shortly after starting at IE, Jeremy attended an in-house wellness session where he learned some stress management techniques that have helped him grow as a leader. This has lead to a relaxed working environment for him to thrive in.
When asked for some final thoughts, Jeremy described the abundance of energy and group activities within IE, that sets the company apart from others.
‘This morning for instance, when I came into work (early as always), I found several Easter eggs waiting for me on my desk and a basket full of freshly baked hot cross buns for breakfast, followed by an Easter egg hunt!’