When did you join Natural Power?
I joined Natural Power in January 2021; it was mid pandemic and I was looking to change careers.
What does your day typically consist of?
A typical workday for me starts with the morning “scrum” meeting where we update the rest of the team about what we were doing yesterday, what we plan to do today, and if there’s anything preventing us from getting on with our work. We have a social morning coffee break which is important when we usually work remotely (as a team we spend one day per week in the office) and some of the team live in other countries.
After that we will do demos of new application functionality or plan what we will be working on over the next couple of weeks. The idea is that we get all the calls out of the way in the morning so we can focus more on our development tasks in the afternoon.
Software development is often seen as a solitary role but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. We are in constant contact with the business analysts and users to understand problems and demonstrate functionality, other software developers when we need help or just need to discuss a problem, and sometimes even the wider software community (for example, just the other day we opened a feature request with Microsoft). Tasks vary from reading documentation and researching solutions to writing code and collaborative work.
We also get to work on a wide variety of diverse products like PerformanceCentre (our renewable energy analysis data aggregation dashboard), EchoSense (automated bat protection system), or Cyclops (our AI driven blade damage detection platform). No two days are the same, and we’re constantly challenging ourselves to improve as individuals and as a team.
Furthermore, I have had the opportunity to enrol in a graduate apprenticeship data science course at Stirling University, so I spend a bit of time working on university projects, attending tutorials, or watching online lectures.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
The most challenging part of my role is probably understanding how large and complex systems tie together. When something goes wrong it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause and challenging to think of a solution which doesn’t have any unwanted side effects. In situations like this I often find myself having “eureka” moments in the evening and quickly writing them down to be implemented the next day!
What is the most interesting type of work you have done and why?
It's very role specific, but the most interesting type of work I do is investigating and applying new software tooling or systems. As a team we always need to keep on top of best practices and to keep an eye on the latest software industry developments. I get great satisfaction from reading about new things and figuring out if they could benefit the team before going on to applying them, teaching the team about them, and finally seeing the positive impact.
Provide a hidden talent or quirky fact about yourself!?
Prior to working at Natural Power, I spent the best part of a decade travelling, studying and working in Asia.