Welcome to Humans of Xero! It’s an occasional series about some of the awesome humans that work at Xero. We’ll talk a bit about their work, their passions, some fascinating facts, and what makes them tick.

We’d like to introduce you to Ross Stanley, the Product Director for Xero’s Lifelong Learning Platform. This is one of Xero’s coolest new initiatives, making sure that students from school right through to university graduates have free access to accounting software right through their learning journey, and Ross is the guy who steers the Lifelong Learning ship. He’s been in software engineering for all of his life, beginning his coding career on a BBC B Micro back in primary school. He’s been in love with software ever since – “It’s a beautiful amalgam of creativity, logical thought and hard work, and a source of incredible value all at the same time.”

We had a yarn with Ross about life in and out of Xero.

How would you describe working at Xero?

Full of possibilities. Supportive. Huge potential for growth. Excellent people to work with. I love my team and can’t wait to get in each day to start building great things together.

What are your passions in life and work?

Aside from spending time walking or cycling with my family, or singing bad karaoke with friends (or even strangers), I’m passionate about the capacity for technology to help us learn, and to live better lives. And even when it doesn’t (like an internet-connected juicer) it can at least be entertaining.

Tell us something #Human about yourself

I can tell you a few things…

  • I was once hospitalised after being stung by a bunch of angry bees and had to jump into a creek like Yogi Bear to escape them. The moral of the story is: when working for a beekeeper, make sure have the “good” suit on. And keep it on.
  • I can one perform one decent breakdancing move. It’s modest, but it’s enough. If you know me, you’ve probably already seen it.
  • My Instagram account contains a surprising number of photos of warm air hand-dryers. I can explain my fascination for them if you have time…

Okay, let’s change the subject: Is there someone in your life who particularly inspires you?

My wife Jessie: a food technologist who co-founded a gourmet food company! She has an impressive blend of creative, scientific and marketing skills and the tenacity build a business out of it.

Where in the world would you most like to travel and why?

My travel plans are mainly food related. Of the places I haven’t yet been: Japan for skiing, Berlin for culture/beer, and Southern USA for BBQ. I’d also like to complete many of the walks and bike tracks in New Zealand when I get a chance too!

Looking at all the world’s problems, which one do you think we should focus on and why?

Access to clean, sustainable, renewable sources of energy.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful for?

A supportive family. Plus, children whose curiosity and joy help you to see all the amazing things in everyday life through fresh eyes. Kids also help you to make use of all the seconds in the day, and you find that you need all of them!

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