Meet Tom Laing, Compliance Manager at CFMS. Tom began his career as a software engineer, accumulating over 20 years of valuable experience in the field. His passion for tackling new challenges led him to transition into project management, where he successfully navigated multicultural environments within several global companies.
Tom grew up in a small fishing village in Fife, Scotland, where he developed a strong work ethic and an appreciation for community values. Graduating with a first-class honours degree in Computing Science from Stirling University, he embarked on a career that took him around the world. During his time at AT&T Bell Laboratories, he specialised in software testing and deployments to customer sites, granting him the opportunity to travel extensively across the United States, Europe, India, and Indonesia.
Beyond his professional pursuits Tom finds increasing joy in activities that enrich his life. He enjoys cycling, recognising the benefits for his physical and mental well-being, as well as travelling and landscape photography. Additionally, Tom has been a beekeeper for over 20 years. With a well-rounded perspective and an insatiable curiosity, Tom brings a unique blend of professionalism and personal interests to his work and daily life. His dedication and multifaceted nature make him an invaluable asset to CFMS.
Spending more than seven years with CFMS, you have seen all the changes. How would you describe your experience?
It’s been incredible as I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of technologies and interact with individuals who have fascinating ideas and impressive intellects. Witnessing the growth and development of young individuals who come here is particularly enjoyable.
What was it that initially piqued your interest seven years ago?
I had been working at Stirling Dynamics in Clifton for a few years when they were acquired by venture capitalists and unfortunately, I was made redundant. My former manager contacted me and informed me of a position at CFMS. They were looking for a project manager and asked if I would be interested. Without hesitation, I said yes, and as they say, the rest is history.
Your background is computer science so how did you get into project management?
I began my career as a software engineer. Over time, I transitioned to the role of principal software engineer and eventually moved into testing software, including software deployments and hosting. As my career progressed, I started managing the deployment of whole systems, which included hardware, software, documentation and training to new customers across the globe. I gradually shifted towards project management, and took charge of managing hardware sourced from America and software from Europe, ensuring that they were integrated seamlessly and deployed effectively for the satisfaction of our customers. We executed major projects for digital telephone exchanges, deploying them to countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Indonesia, and even the United States.
You’ve been with us for a long time. What aspects of the company/job do you consider to be the best?
For me, the best part about working at CFMS is the people and the social aspect that goes with it. I love engaging with people, understanding their ideas, and seeing their ideas develop, as well as giving back some guidance using my experience. There is also a good cycling culture at CFMS; I enjoy the cycle rides with a number of colleagues after work and just enjoying people’s company. Nowadays I work two days a week which allows for a good balance between work and leisure.
What is your advice to people wanting to join CFMS?
CFMS performs fascinating work at the forefront of the market, collaborating with a diverse set of customers and providing a comprehensive and diverse experience. The company is heavily involved in cutting-edge technology, which provides an exciting opportunity to work with an innovative group of individuals with unique perspectives and ideas. The working environment is supportive, allowing for individual work and interaction among colleagues. Overall, it’s a great place to work. If you want to expand your knowledge of innovative technology as well as push boundaries, this is the place to be.
What would you advise to people wanting to get into the industry?
While a significant portion of the job is technical, a considerable amount also involves dealing with unpredictable human elements, which requires experience. In order to handle this, it is crucial to prepare and plan for events and meetings to avoid any surprises. Having a backup plan in case of any unforeseen circumstances is also essential. But most importantly, just enjoy the journey along the way.
If you’re interested in knowing more about CFMS, contact us.