Finding the right software development role can mean considering a wide range of factors; from the projects and technologies and teams you’ll be working with through to having a shared sense of purpose with the company you work for.
Senior Architect, Andrew McCaughan, explains the reasons why his role in digital pathology research fuels his love for programming and people.
‘I’ve been working in the industry now for over 10 years, working my way up the ranks from junior to architect.
My background is technical from the start. I’ve worked in financial services as well as smaller e-learning businesses and software development houses but a few years ago, I started focusing on product development.
I’m not a 9 to 5 developer though. I love technology. I love programming. It’s not unknown for me to be found on a Saturday afternoon playing with a bit of code or learning about an interesting open source project.’
It’s this passion that Andrew brings to his every day work, enjoying the ability to share his knowledge as much as the technical challenges.
‘We use Python, C++ and .NET. Using the .NET framework, especially now that .NET is open source and we can target more than just the windows platform, is fascinating. It means that we can build products that don’t restrict us or our customers to one ecosystem which is a great position to be in as a developer.
Equally though, I love getting the opportunity to coach and mentor. I’m working with a really talented, team and you can share ideas and then they can go off and do something rather amazing.’
Important skills given that the domain of digital pathology is highly disruptive and changing quickly:
‘Everything is changing so fast that we need to have really great processes in place. We need to have an agile technology stack that allows us to build things really, really quickly.
We’ve been able to build the product around the needs of pathologists. Xplore is a tool used by pathology labs to store and record data from scans that include tissue data. It’s a very innovative product and there’s a lot of potential to build on.’
The added benefit, though, is that the Philips mission of improving people’s lives unites and inspires:
‘Everyone’s happy to help each other, contribute and collaborate and everybody believes in the mission of building something that will allow researchers and medical professionals to find a potential cure for cancer.
I find it really exciting to be part of something here in Belfast but that we’re also contributing to the grand vision of Philips. If I can be a small part of that then I can say “job well done”.’