21 June 2022

Welcome To Our New Team Members!

Image with 4 people wearing retro space uniforms and the words New Recruits Incoming

In our last blog post we mentioned smashing a new milestone – we’ve grown to over 40 team members! But we aren’t stopping at 40, we’re delighted that three new hires have joined the team since and we have more positions available.

It’s an exciting time of growth for GCD as we continue to expand our project teams and other business functions. If you’re thinking of a change, why not take a look at the roles we have on offer.

But back to our latest recruits who have joined various teams within GCD, Matthew has recently joined our QA Team, Conor has joined our Development team and Richard has joined our Product Management team! 

Let’s get to know them a bit better…

Hey Matthew!

What is your background in QA? How did you get started?

photo of matthew

Prior to entering a QA role, I gained some hands-on experience within development, it made me realise that I wanted to push for a career within software.

While on the hunt to begin my professional career, I discovered I was quite the “bad luck charm” for products – whatever I touched often decided to show defects. I soon learnt that this “bad luck” was due to my curiosity of poking around and seeing what happens under different conditions.

Upon poking around a particular company’s product – I accidentally spotted an issue within production. It led me to speaking to the company – raising the defect and giving them the reproduction path, as they were baffled.

That got patched, but a month later I was back again and managed to cause the same outcome on a different feature of theirs.

This led me to my first position within QA, although I’m convinced it was a way for them to get me to stop breaking things! I spent ~2 years at this company, picking up an extra eye for quality while refining my skills and QA mindset and ensuring the complete quality of all of the company’s products.

Which has now led me to GCD, where I plan on continuing to grow my knowledge while putting my skills to the test with an extremely thrilling team (and company) to be a part of.

How have your first few weeks at GCD been?

My first few weeks have been really great. As a completely remote member of the team, sometimes you can feel excluded from a company – but I haven’t with GCD. Everyone has been so inclusive and welcoming, it has been amazing. 

There definitely is a great work culture here, and everyone is just pumped with energy. 

What is your favourite part about your role?

Knowing that ensuring quality within a product can make a real difference to clients and their customers.

Is there anything you are really excited to work with or on?

I am pretty excited to be working with the automation framework that GCD has. I am also really excited to begin work on a project where I’ll be able to see it through from the beginning to release.

What hobbies do you have?

Music, music and music! I’m huge on the underground (electronic) music scene; being Drum and Bass, 140, Deep Dubstep and anything else with bass. You’ll often find me with my head in a speaker at any event I go to.

Away from music, I’ll either be socialising, watching Formula 1 or Rugby, doing photography, or acting like I’m smart enough to participate in online Capture The Flag events.

Hey Conor!

What is your background in software development? How did you get started?

photo of conor

I officially started learning Software Development at uni – but I’ve been messing about with computers for as long as I can remember. In school, I had plenty of fun building chat apps and writing text adventures in MS-DOS batch files… simpler times. As a teenager, my father was a big inspiration and I learned a lot of coding fundamentals working alongside him, eventually leading to my Computer Science degree. Now, I’ve been developing web apps for a few years, with some DevOps experience sprinkled in!

How have your first few weeks at GCD been?

Fantastic! Everyone has made me feel welcome and I’ve had a great time getting to know my coworkers. There’s a nice balance between the support I’ve been offered and the freedom to work through tasks and learning. My team has been a big help with regards to settling in.

What is your favourite part about being a developer?

For me, the joy of writing code is always that puzzle of “what’s the best way to solve this problem?” Making a system that little bit more efficient makes me feel like a master craftsman polishing their Magnum Opus! (At least, when I don’t break the build…)

What technology/language are you most excited to work with?

Coming from a background of mainly REST API development with very little front-end experience, being able to make impactful changes to UI and working with frameworks like React.js is equal parts exciting and rewarding! Using TypeScript is a nice bonus, as I’m already comfortable with it and feel it offers just the right balance between flexibility and maintainability. In addition, Nest.js and TypeORM are both new to me – I’m already seeing how they can be very useful when it comes to building a web application.

What hobbies do you have?

I play a lot of card and board games! I even run a club in Belfast based around learning and playing Japanese Mahjong. Other than that, I’m into your typical nerd stuff – video games, tech, movies, programming, books, you name it. Trying to get more active!

Any interesting facts?

I own a Dance Dance Revolution arcade machine. It’s currently in need of repairs and isn’t fully operational, but that’s my pet project when I have time to work on it :sunglasses:

Hey Richard!

How have your first few weeks at GCD been?

photo of richard

It’s been good. People have been really friendly, warm and welcoming. There’s a noticeable and positive culture of chat, craic and people connecting that seems to be very much valued alongside work. That’s helped me settle into things socially, which can always be a daunting part of a new start. The team here is A+.

What is your favourite part so far?

The variety of things we have to think about on a daily basis. It’s really interesting when you are forced to get yourself inside the priorities and process of a business or industry that possibly you knew almost nothing about before. In my first week, I think I learned more about building surveys than most people do in a lifetime.

Also, learning that I live so close to a Chatty Bench and that (as it turns out) that’s something to be incredibly thankful for. I hear it’s on the shortlist of World Heritage Sites…

Is there anything you are really excited to work with or on?

I’ve been working mostly on a top secret project for a library. It’s not that long since I was doing postgrad study myself and spending a lot of time in a library and working with online manuscript services. So, it’s been really interesting to be totally on the other end of that experience, thinking it through on behalf of the client and users, and learning lots along the way.

What hobbies do you have?

I’m pretty adventurous with foodie stuff and do lots of cooking at home. I’ve been getting into pizza making since I finally got a proper pizza oven in the last year. I try to offset the passion for food as much as possible with cycling and running (“finish line not finish time”).

Like the rest of the world, I got a bit more into gardening during lockdown, and have been keeping that up and notching up a growing number of plant deaths as I go. I like reading, mostly non-fiction, especially biography and stuff on politics, culture and ideas. I listen to a lot of podcasts (always open to recommendations), radio (who doesn’t love 15 minutes on Radio 4 about the lives of bean farmers in Patagonia?) and general current affairs type stuff.

Any interesting facts?

I’ll really appreciate it if you communicate with me in West Wing quotes. The more obscure the better. I passed my driving test with 0 minors, but that was after having to do the theory three times – you can decide if that means you’ll get into the car with me or not :thinking_face:

Well I think it’s safe to say, we’ve definitely know everyone a bit better, for better or worse!