To celebrate being ranked 23rd out of 100 in the Northern Tech Awards, we chatted to the Tribepad team about how they got into a career in tech. Today, we’d like you to meet Dan who works in our Software Engineering department.
Name: Dan Dunford
Actual Job Title: Senior Software Engineer
Alternative Job Title: Seni�r Devel�per
My Role at Tribepad:
I have many roles here at Tribepad. If we’re building new features or applications that require attention to detail then I will help out on the architecture side so it meets our platform requirements of being both scalable and secure.
When I’m not planning application architecture, I lead the team on projects coordinating tickets and estimates on bits of work that are time critical.
And when I’m not planning or leading, I like to get stuck in with the actual build. I will build features, fix problems, and make sure the platform is running smoothly for our customers.
I like to take the time to mentor our junior developers through coaching and peer reviews to help them improve. The tech industry moves so quickly that I even find myself learning a thing or two.
What makes Tribepad different from other companies is the variety of technologies we use here to power the platform. I’ve dabbled in ElasticSearch, PHP7, Node (just to name a few) and we are constantly learning something new and looking at the next emerging technology.
My dream job when I was at school was:
I have always wanted to work with technology from an early age and knew I wanted to get involved with software engineering at some point in my life. Before that, I always dreamed of becoming an astronaut, but after seeing a video of astronauts-in-training in a centrifuge, I decided it probably wasn’t for me.
My first job out of school/uni was:
The first real job in technology was working as an IT technician at New Look Head Office. In this job, the team had to maintain over 500 desktops, laptops, scanners, and printers, not including all the store machines. This was the type of job where you had to enjoy walking, constantly, the head office was huge and I must have walked over 20 miles a day. We never sat down unless we were eating lunch or finding out what our next issue was. This was also the place where I got to see my first data centre in person, the miles and miles of cabling and all those flashing lights, I knew this was the sort of place I wanted a career in.
How I got from my first job to where I am now:
After a year or so at New Look, I needed a change of scenery from where I grew up and headed to Sheffield in 2005. I had a few jobs here and there whilst getting to know Sheffield, then joined a small ISP called PlusNet. I’ve always liked solving problems; I was always the go-to guy for everyone’s computer problems, so it was a natural fit for me to work in a call centre solving customer and technical problems. I moved around a few different departments within the call centre and soon started developing apps and tools to solve common problems to make things more efficient or easier to do.
I was offered a new role in the QA department to help test new software due to go to our live platform. I would assist in building test plans, provide feedback for improvements and make sure everything was secure. As time went on, my software coding improved to the point where I was given the opportunity to fix the odd ‘bug’ here and there on the live platform, granted it wasn’t very good, but I had a team of engineers to give me with feedback and resources to further my passion which I will always be thankful for.
Having taking the time to learn and build on my skills I was then given the opportunity to become a software engineer in the engineering department working on bigger projects. My first ever project was building a tracking and reporting system for the call centre, allowing the team to do all sorts from tracking calls and tickets to report historically on performance.
Sometime in 2010, I decided I needed to further my skills in a completely different environment and moved to a smaller company, providing CPD and PM cloud based solutions for schools, universities, and local authorities where I learnt a great deal more and became a Zend Certified Engineer.
In 2014, I was approached by an old colleague from PlusNet who wanted me to come work for Tribepad where I have been learning something new every day for the last 3 years because we are always looking at leveraging the latest technology in the right way or using older solutions if they fit the requirement.
When (and why) I decided I wanted to work in tech:
I have always been the type of person who likes to tinker with electronics. Since I was a kid, I’ve always found some excuse to just take something apart and figure out how it works. Thankfully, today, we now have things like Arduinos and Raspberry Pis, so most electronics in my home are safe!
I knew from a very early age I wanted to work with technology and do something with it, and what better way to work with tech than tell it how to work.
What I love about working in tech:
There’s always something new to learn. The tech world never slows down, if anything, it’s getting faster with new technologies every day so there’s always something new and exciting to take apart and put back together!
One piece of advice for someone wanting to work their dream job in tech:
Never stop learning. Never think you have nothing else to learn, and remember that there’s always somebody out there who knows more than you!