Mike Rouse

MIKE ROUSE

Activist. | Software Programmer. | IT Systems Innovator. | Conservative. | Campaigner.

Autobiography

Early Life

I was born in Coventry in 1983. My father was a lorry driver and labourer, and my mother held various jobs ranging from cleaning to data input for NATO. I grew up in the Canley area of Coventry, firstly attending Alderman Harris Primary School and then latterly Alderman Callow Secondary School and Community College.

Early Career

My first taste of work came from delivering phonebooks and newspapers, followed by a job in a fish and chip shop. I then took a job collecting up the trollies at a supermarket before finally getting a break into office work as a temporary clerk. At age 18 I was employed by Barclays Bank in one of their call centres and eventually worked my way into their online banking division.

By 2003 I was able to get work as a temporary admin assistant with the NHS in Coventry. From here I worked my way up to being a Senior Administrator, chiefly as a result of my database and software development skills, which I had picked up in my spare time.

Finally breaking into the IT Industry

In early 2006 I suffered a depressive episode and made some poor life choices. One of them was to leave my senior administrator role in favour of a patient-facing role on an acute adult mental health ward. The experience was valuable in helping me to interact with troubled people and I do appreciate the skills it gave me, but it was not the right kind of work for me. I emotionally took the work home with me and became further depressed, leading to the verge of a suicide attempt. I sought help and decided to move back to working in offices, and felt I had done enough work in my spare time to try and cross over and make my hobby my job. I managed to land a job managing SharePoint-based systems as a temp for the Learning & Skills Council. As that contract came to an end I decided to go self-employed designing websites.

Political Industry

As a bit of loss leadership I did some websites for free and got myself noticed by some Conservatives. I was called up one day by Tim Montgomerie and asked to come and talk about some work. I arrived in London and must have made a good impression. I was offered an opportunity to help him build up a firm who offered web services to candidates and associations. It was not mean to be however, particularly as the 18 Doughty Street project took up increasing amounts of our time.

By 2007 I had been shortlisted by the New Statesman magazine in their Young Innovator category for my work at on the 18 Doughty Street project. I was invited to apply for a role at Conservative Central Office, but declined to apply. Frankly, I panicked. At the time it felt like I had come such a long way from such a dark and lowly place. Here I was without a degree, no professional background and no connections being invited to apply to work at one of the finest offices in the land. Instead I stuck with 18 Doughty Street until its ultimate collapse and returned to Coventry shortly thereafter where I took up work with Peugeot as a web developer on a temporary contract.

The Wilderness

What followed was some tough times, but also some of my best times. I was fortunate to get back into the Learning & Skills Council, which then evolved into the Skills Funding Agency. However, by 2012 the new government was cracking down on contractors like me and the writing was on the wall. I moved on and took up a job with SCC in Birmingham. Around the same time I was developing a relationship with the woman who would become my wife and mother to our daughter born in 2012.

I took a role closer to home with Multifleet, and ended up taking subsequent roles with Avelo/Iress in Bromsgrove, GKN in Redditch and Documotive in Sutton Coldfield - all in a short period of time.

The Return

Employment was not sitting well with me. An opportunity came up to work for a client on a self-employed basis and I saw it as my opportunity to get back to the work I truly enjoyed - being self-employed and accountable to my clients. I set up Binary Beagle in February 2015 and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead.

Politics

I am a compassionate conservative, believing that it is highly compassionate for the state to leave people with as much of their own money in their pockets as possible. I am compassionate because I believe in helping people to help themselves. When I was homeless in my life I was given shelter, but I was also given the opportunity of a job and a way forward. I support various political organisations and actively campaign for my beliefs and to support candidates for elected office.

Business

I founded Binary Beagle in 2015 to bring together all of my work under a single venture. Please visit the Binary Beagle website for more details.

Charity & Community

I actively support Macmillan Cancer Support, Movember, and the Cherish Freedom Trust. I am also active in the local civic community and support local charities and causes.