What is your background?
As a child, I loved LEGO and video-games, which I think led directly to my decision to study computer science at Trinity College, Dublin! I graduated in 2005. My first job out of college was working for Sony PlayStation in London, where I provided support and built tools for video game developers building games for PlayStation 2 and later the PSP. I was very happy working on developer tools - building software to help other engineers build software.
I enjoy the leverage of solving problems that benefit large numbers of people. One project that I particularly enjoyed building was a virtual machine debugger and profiler to run the Lua programming language, tailored specifically for the PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 consoles.
I subsequently went to CircleCI, where I continued my focus on developer tools. At CircleCI I led the team that added macOS support, allowing iOS developers to use CircleCI, and I later led the team adding Windows and GPU support to the product.
What does your role involve in Flipdish?
At Flipdish, I’m a principal engineer, which is my ideal role. I’m on the IC career path, not management. My current focus is on developer productivity. A principal engineer works on the problems that span across teams and across departments, and my challenge is to figure how to break the large engineering investments that we know we want to make to the Flipdish platform, into a sequence of small, concrete tasks.
I ensure that our engineering teams have a backlog of engineering-led projects that we can interleave with product development work. I ensure that we’re scaling efficiently and maintaining high reliability while also building new features to grow our customer base.
What do the next 12 months have in store for you?
Ensuring that, as we double and quadruple our number of customers, we scale efficiently and ensure that the core ordering platform is highly reliable and available.