Hi Matt! Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Immense?
I’m a long-time techy and nerd. I studied computer games development in the University of Limerick in Ireland and worked on transaction banking software for a couple years, eventually moving to the UK and getting into the transport industry.
At Immense I’m a software engineer currently focussed on transformation of geospatial datasets into usable simulator assets through Python-based pipelines. As well as that, I more generally crack the whip with regards to code quality and software engineering best practice.
What is a typical day like for you at Immense?
The mornings are always cheerier than you’d expect, it’s rare to catch people here in a bad mood. I start the day reviewing my sprint tasks and resolving any code reviews that have come my way then get down to the bulk of my work. I spend about half my day with headphones on writing code in the stereotypical fashion. Towards the end of the day I do some cleaning up and prepare myself for the daily quiz which is a great way for us to wind down before home time.
How did you find out about Immense and become involved in the company?
Like many people here and the company itself, I originated from the Connected Places Catapult (formerly Transport Systems Catapult) across the road. I had previously interviewed with Immense before joining the CPC but at that time their requirements didn’t match my skillset. After some later casual conversations with our own Tommy Talent, we could see that both Immense and I had since gone in a direction where our paths were intersecting and it was time to do great things together.
What’s the best part about working at Immense?
Every day here I learn something new and subsequently bore everyone around me as I try to share the knowledge. There’s a lot of enthusiasm, passion and genuine interest in learning each other’s areas of expertise and trying to grow our skillsets.
What would you say is the most challenging part of the job?
Shifting requirements and tight deadlines can provide a serious challenge but also give us the opportunity to create processes which allow us to be truly agile and deliver with confidence every time.
What has been your biggest career achievement?
I built a system which was a dynamic XML cataloguing system with a lot of git-like features (I know how boring that sounds) and I was really proud of doing it all (mostly) by myself, from the design and architecture to building, testing and deployment with really quick feature development and a quite robust, well-integrated system. It was an interesting opportunity to learn first-hand how an entire software project comes together.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
My favourite films have always been the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the things that really made it for me were the props and sets made by Weta Workshop in New Zealand. From the weapons to the costumes to their bigatures, I wanted nothing more than to go work with them and spend my days building fantasy props.
What do you think the future of mobility looks like?
I’d like to see more sharing and less waste.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the industry?
As a person too lazy to get a driver’s license, I think public transport is a big issue – in particular, how to make it an attractive replacement for private car ownership. I get around quite happily using busses, trains and taxis but most people I talk to refuse to give up the convenience of a car. I’d like to see a world where half our city space isn’t given over to car parks and dozens of cars on the road could be replaced with a single bus.
When you’re not working, what are your hobbies and interests?
I like to pursue an eclectic range of activities including gaming, parkour, bouldering, guitar, movies, political podcasts, carving, fantasy cartography, 3d modelling, cooking, knife sharpening, PC building, D&D and whatever ese takes my fancy.
If you were stuck on a desert island and could take three things with you what would they be?
My guitar, some Japanese carpentry equipment and my PC (assuming the island has power and a good fibre connection)