Say hello to the second Purple Person in our staff profile blog series: Matthew Yates, Software Developer, budding pilot and all round nice guy.
Purple People Profiles
In the latest of our Purple People Profiles, we caught up with our software developer and budding pilot, Matthew Yates.
Name: Matthew Yates
Job title: Software Developer
LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/in/matthewyates110
Q. Hi Matthew. What does your role involve? What are the key things you do for clients day to day?
A. My job is in my title, I develop software (not being rude, sorry if it came across that way!) I mainly work on introducing new features or adapting existing ones. I also interact with customers to help resolve some queries or bugs within the system, trying to resolve the problem quickly to not cause any inconvenience to the customer.
As well as the adding new features or adapting existing ones, I enjoy getting involved with the architecture of the software and new approaches of how to implement code, or even new tools and libraries.
I also try to help manage updates and version for testing and live deployments so that we are aware of what versions have been deployed as well letting the customer know of the changes.
Q. What do you consider to be your work-related strengths (technical or otherwise)? Just the top two or three would be great.
- Ability to find a problem and produce a solution in a suitable amount of time so that the problem doesn’t occur for too long and interacting with the customer to resolve problems
- Producing code that is flexible and easy to maintain or adapt to other situations, which helps when adding new features
- Finding new solutions or options internally to improve our workflow and issues we come across, such as system monitoring once the system is live
Q. Are there any technologies or approaches that you particularly enjoy working with? Any techie groups you belong to or projects you’re involved with or meet-ups you attend regularly?
A. I wouldn’t say I have a favourite or one that particularly stands out, but Signal R is a promising and interesting library which allows for real-time communication between the client (browsers) and the server. Currently I’m not involved with the programming community too much, however, I have thought about writing some blog posts or getting involved in Open Source Software, improving libraries.
Q. Are there any work-specific challenges that you particularly enjoy? i.e what gives you a buzz?
A. The logical thinking, problem solving and helping, make peoples’ tasks less manual is what I enjoy the most. If there is a task that someone performs many times, and it’s quite tedious then trying to find a way of automating or reducing the workload is something I like to work on as it gives me satisfaction at the end. I also enjoy working on tasks that can help give an insight into data or problems.
Q. What was your last role prior to joining Purple Crane? What are the key skills, experience and insight did it give you that are relevant to your role today? (If there were additional roles that you feel are particularly significant in relation to your current work, please add them too.)
A. Before joining Purple Crane I was doing my A Levels. I had a paper round which I’d been doing for about three and a half years and a magazine round for two years. Looking at those jobs they didn’t really give me any insight into software development, but it gives you the work ethic. I have done some work experience and volunteering in classes while at sixth form which gave me the confidence of dealing with others, but also revealed that there are other ways of solving or thinking about a task/problem.
Personal development projects spurred me on as well as the computing course I took at sixth form which I produced a program for my Dad, who is a driving instructor (funnily enough I don’t drive!), which helped organise lessons as well as give stats on how many lessons pupils had had or how many they hadn’t paid for. This helped improve my analysis skills as I had to review and understand what he currently did as well as what he wanted.
Q. How long have you been in the sector, what was your first role, and what initially attracted you to this line of work?
A. I joined Purple Crane in September 2015, the summer after finishing A Levels and that’s as long as I’ve been in the sector (five years). I had two major interests growing up, computers and flying. I decided to go down the software development route after creating my own websites, which lead to helping my friend develop software, before finally getting into it myself.
Q. What relevant qualifications do you have?
A. I joined Purple Crane as part of my apprenticeship with QA. I have completed my Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications with them for which I have a City and Guilds Level 3 and 4 as well as a Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Certification. I had previously done Computing at A Level and achieved a B.
Q. Any interests or hobbies outside of work that you’d be happy to share?
A. I have attained my Private Pilots Licence (PPL). I have taken family members and friends up with me on the odd occasion as well as solo flights, which I have loved especially sharing it with others. Flying is wonderful and when I got my licence I was really happy as I could go flying to places I wanted to. I enjoy collecting and building LEGO sets! I also like to work on personal projects with software, so my work is also my hobby! I like to think all my interests and hobbies help with work life from concentration, managing many tasks at once as well a clear communication with others - talking to Air Traffic Control (ATC).
Q. And one last one… What do you value about your colleagues? i.e what work-related skill does X have that you wish you possessed and why? If you can list two or three that would be fantastic.
A. Working with my colleagues is great as we all have different levels of knowledge in areas, as well as slightly different ways of thinking about a task. This enables us to collaborate and find the best solution. We handle tasks differently, but share knowledge gained with one another and work to create the best software we can, whilst having fun. Each and every one has knowledge of systems we have worked on and are able to find out how a feature works or connects from someone else in the room, meaning we can find issues quickly or can make sense of a feature.
I think we all get on very well which means we are able to collaborate on new features and systems very well, or even come up with new ideas for a piece of software.