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You might assume working in tech requires sitting in an office most of the day, and for the most part that’s true – but there are some glorious exceptions. Take Vodafone “pedestrian tester” James Watt, for instance: he hikes around London each day measuring signal strength for the network.

Vodafone Social has a fascinating piece up today on a lesser known role in a mobile phone network. James footslogs up to eight miles per day, backpack laden with five smartphones specially designed for testing the strength of Vodafone’s signal, both for voice calls and mobile data. Data is automatically fed back to the company’s servers, although James keeps a log of locations visited and time spent at each as a backup measure.

And he can’t stride around like a man on a mission all the time: James has to replicate how the average phone user walks, which is quite slowly, barely aware of incoming pedestrians and speeding vehicles as they type.

He and other pedestrian testers (who are pounding the pavement in 24 other British towns and cities) are invaluable because they can get to places testing vehicles can’t: not just alleyways and pedestrianised streets, but shopping centres, airports, offices, stadiums and railway stations.

James has lost a stone in weight in his six months as a tester, and has picked up an incredible knowledge of London’s nooks and crannies at the same time. And he can listen to music while he works. Sounds like a dream job – as long as the weather’s good. Check out the full profile at the link below – would you trade in your 9 to 5 for it?

[via Vodafone blog]

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