Staff Spotlight – Robert Hartley

This month we get to know Robert Hartley. Or as he’s affectionately known around the office, Bush Rob (more on that later). Robert is a software developer who credits Polymathian as his first job in his field of study. Before joining Polymathian, Robert worked in construction while attending university at Queensland University of Technology.

Let’s get to know Robert.

  • What did you study while at university?
  • I graduated from QUT with mathematics and information technology degrees, majoring in statistics and computer science.


  • How long have you worked at Polymathian?
  • I've worked at Polymathian for 3 years and 4 months (at the time of this interview).

  • What did you do when you first started here?
  • I started as a software developer, where I spent most of my day writing code that supported product development.

  • How has your career evolved over the years?
  • I still do a lot of software development, but now I’m more involved in scoping and managing project deployments. I like that I get to be more involved in the delivery of the product. I’m really enjoying building relationships with clients.

  • Which software product do you support?
  • I primarily support BOLT, Polymathian's bulk supply chain optimisation software.

  • Describe your job to a child.
  • [laughs] I haven't spoke to a child in a long time.

  • Tell us about yourself.
  • I was born in SE Queensland in a town called Wamuran, but I went to high school in Cairns. During high school, I really started to enjoy maths, and I was very fortunate to have an advanced maths teacher who turned down other opportunities to stay and teach at our small high school for my final year. As soon as I finished high school, I moved back to the Brisbane area to attend university.

  • Tell me something surprising about yourself.
  • My parents are from England and Ireland, which means I have citizenship in three countries. I had planned on moving abroad before I got my job with Polymathian, but things have gone so well here that I decided to stay in Australia.

  • What do you like to do when you're not working?
  • I spend a lot of my time outside of work hiking and climbing. My love for hiking started as a child when I’d go deer hunting with my dad and grandfather. I blame my colleagues for my obsession with climbing. After a company trip to Tasmania, I finally gave in and went climbing with them and now it’s all I do.

  • You have a nickname around the office - what is it, and how did you get it?
  • When a good friend of mine, also named Rob, joined Polymathian, he became “other Rob” which he didn’t particularly care for, so I became Bush Rob 🤠 and he became City Rob 🎩. And it’s just stuck.

  • Use three words to describe yourself.
  • Rob couldn't come up with anything so I asked another colleague to give it a try. This is her response:
    1. Obsessed
    2. With
    3. Climbing

  • What's your favourite food? Least favourite food?
  • I didn't get an answer to either of these questions, but I did get a recipe for what Rob eats for lunch every day.

Bush Rob's lunch special:

150g of brown rice (cooked) 100g of carrots (steamed) 75g broccoli (steamed) 75g potato (baked) 75g of avocado (NOT microwaved) 100g of chicken or beef (variety is the spice of life!)

Consume twice daily.

  • What's your favourite line from a movie?
  • The intense scene in Intersteller when Cooper is trying to dock the Endurance.

Case: It's not possible.

Cooper: No. It's necessary.

  • What's the last app you downloaded on your phone?
  • Audible. I’m currently listening to the Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton, which is a change since I typically don’t read fiction.

  • What do you usually read?
  • Non-fiction. The last book I read was Rock Climbing Anchors, 2nd edition: A comprehensive guide by Topher Donahue and Craig Luebben. I definitely recommend it.

  • Which smells better to you: fresh cut grass or freshly baked bread?
  • Grass. Once you can smell the grass instead of the diesel, it means you're finally done slashing.

  • Who was your childhood hero?
  • My mum. She and I have a very close relationship. As I’ve grown up, I’ve realised that she made many sacrifices for my brother and me.🥰

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Rob as much as I did. If you want climbing tips or to swap recipes, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.

About the interviewer

Tami Pizani is a member of the Polymathian marketing team and has made it her mission to shine a spotlight on the employees behind Polymathian's success. Tami loves a great underdog story, discovering commonalities when meeting someone new, and a healthy debate over the use of the Oxford comma. You can connect with Tami on LinkedIn.


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