Everybody, meet James! He is an Associate Engineer at Tes who loves to climb mountains in his free time. He is also a recent career changer. Learn all about him, his background and his exotic travels in this interview.
Hi James! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. To get started, could you tell us a bit about your background?
My career started in a very different industry. After uni I worked in a small engineering office who designed and managed the manufacturing of heat exchangers. I learnt a lot at the job but the industry is quite stuck in its ways. I love how tech keeps advancing and keeps trying to better itself so at the end of 2018 I left my job and retrained as a software developer. My first job out of training is working at Tes and I’m really happy I made the switch.
Glad to hear! And what do you like to do outside work?
I really enjoy going hiking in my spare time. I’m based in Edinburgh which gives me amazing access to some beautiful Munros. My girlfriend and I have made a start at Munro bagging but are only 30ish in out of 282, a long way to go.
Munro bagging? I think you have to explain that to me…
Yeah, sure. Munros are Scottish mountains which are more than 3,000 feet high. And “Munro bagging” means that you attempt to climb all the listed Munros. Here are some photos I took during our hikes.
I see! Must be nice to have such beautiful nature at your doorstep. When you venture abroad though, what places do you like to visit?
I have just returned from an amazing trip to Thailand over Christmas, I can’t recommend it enough as a destination. The people were all very welcoming and there is some spectacular scenery. New Zealand is definitely next on my bucket list.
This is photo that I took of Nopharat Thara beach in Thailand.
Looks amazing! But let’s get back to some more questions about work. What have been the biggest challenges in your career as a developer so far?
The size and scale of an established code base has been a real challenge coming from a course where the scale is what four people can write in a week. The depth and knowledge of the developers at Tes is amazing, and everyone’s openness to sharing knowledge has made the transition much easier.
What advice would you give to new developers?
Keep asking questions, even the most basic of questions is valuable.
What one piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Forget about engineering and start doing some coding.
Great! Thank you for the interview.