We’ve Smashed a New Milestone!

It’s been a brilliant few months welcoming new crew to the team and celebrating being shortlisted for Best Remote Team at The Spiders and Tech Company of the Year at the Global Business Tech Awards (keep your fingers crossed for us!). But that’s not the big milestone, the really great news is that the arrival of our new colleagues has also helped GCD hit the milestone of over 40 team members! The GCD family continues to grow, bringing in brilliant people to join our award winning teams.

If you’re in the market for a new role, joining Team GCD will be the best decision you make! Take a look at our careers site for available roles.

Let’s meet some of our new team mates. Phil and Jamie have recently joined our Design team, expanding our UX & UI capabilities, and Leo has joined our ever busy Development team!

I caught up with all three to get to know them a little more.

Hey Phil!

What is your background in UX/Design? How did you get started?

I started designing brochures when I was 17 for my father’s NGO helping inner city people. I then went on to study all over the world, I studied Design and Photography in Greece, Youth & Community work in Australia & Germany and UX Design in the UK. Interesting fact, inner city people didn’t appreciate my graffiti filled designs :stuck_out_tongue:

How has your first few weeks at GCD been?

Terrific! The people are friendly, and the projects are very interesting. It’s the perfect combination for me to be able to create and deliver.

What is your favourite part about your role?

The fact that UX can literally shape someone’s daily routine is fascinating. Being able to improve someone’s day, or ensuring that a product’s usability is optimised is pretty exciting stuff.

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

I love the power of small micro-animations and how they make the experience delightful. Most of all, I love interviewing users and really see them use the product, so I’m excited to do more of that. It’s rewarding when a user shares a wealth of knowledge with you, knowledge that you can only guess at in your initial brainstorm meetings.

What hobbies do you have?

In my free time, I love coordinating a Community Centre in downtown Athens, Greece, my home. I’m excited to explore how UX can be used to help refugee children and youth in general.

I enjoy music, watching really old documentaries and losing wrestling matches with my two sons (aged 9 & 12).

Any interesting facts?

Because I fly in and out of Ireland a lot, some of the air stewards know me well enough now to say, “oh you again, sit down.”

Hey Jamie!

What is your background in UX/Design? How did you get started?

I have been working in design, marketing and communications for almost 10 years now. However, design has always been my passion. I am a self-taught designer and was able to really hone my skills during the couple of years I spent working in a design agency. 

I got started in UX by completing an online Diploma with the UX Design Institute. During my Diploma I was able to get some ‘real life’ experience by contributing to a customer portal project for the company I was working in. It was great to be able to apply what I was learning as I was learning it. UX very much felt like the pinnacle of all my career experience to date and so the transition felt very natural.

How has your first few weeks at GCD been?

My first few weeks at GCD have been a joy. You can easily tell why they are up for an award to win ‘Best Remote Team’ as the setup and ways of working either from the office or from home are very smooth. The work culture here is one of the things I like the most about GCD – there’s a lovely team vibe where people are ‘for’ each other. You can’t help but be drawn in and energised by the team here. People seem to both really care about their work and enjoy it which is a powerful combination and one in which I feel very much at home in.

What is your favourite part about your role?

I love that GCD is a company that really respects both good design and the UX process. I am buzzing that I get to actually do the whole UX process and to gain more experience in everything I was taught in my Diploma.  

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

I have just started working on a project that is complex and a challenge but, once created, will be of enormous benefit to the client. This makes the whole process incredibly satisfying. 

What hobbies do you have?

I love wild camping (no tents included!) in the Mournes with friends, playing football midweek and am dying to be able to go skiing again sometime.

Any interesting facts?

I have held an asteroid!

Hey Leo!

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

The first nascent programming attempts would have been around eight years of age huddled in front of BBC Micro with my friend Peter who coincidentally also works in software. We had no choice but to work with the trusty 8-bit compadre because his three elder brothers hogged the Windows machine running Final Fantasy VII perpetually.

Having dabbled in code over the years for an array of different purposes, it was not until working with a large collection of industrial reductive manufacturing machines that I remembered how much joy computers had brought me over the years.

I committed to learning some higher-level languages that would have greater relevance than the peculiar G-code hacks I was playing with day to day. On the recommendation of a family friend, who was at that moment politely tolerating my current topic of conversation on the history of 90’s modems, the decision was made to become a programmer.

Following that decision it seemed sensible to join the CS cohort at University of Nottingham studying under such greats as Thorsten Altenkirch, Graham Hutton, and David Brailsford. The course was very engaging and in my opinion the department and staff were excellent; the YouTube channel Computerphile features a lot of their academic team making some great content.

It was not until landing my first gig as a trainee back-end developer for a local software company that the learning really started to take root. This was quite challenging at first but steadily the confidence and skill increased until an opportunity arose as a full-stack developer in the financial services industry working round the clock on some exciting technologies and equally challenging projects.

More recently, after a 3 month sabbatical with my wife where we had a big post-lockdown family reunion and got married! I joined the team here at GCD and am enjoying progressing my career working more exclusively with web technologies as part of a dynamic, inspiring team!

How has your first few weeks at GCD been?

The first few weeks have been really cool! Lots of opportunities to learn, contribute to and engage with genuinely interesting projects.

One thing GCD strongly emphasises is making their new starts feel truly welcomed into the team and bringing people on board in the right way. What better way to join the team than on Shrove Tuesday for a group pancake buffet?! It hasn’t been long since I joined but already GCD feels like a special kind of place.

It has been very helpful to gain insight into the operations of individual teams and GCD collectively, this has helped to give a greater appreciation of the vision as a whole. From day one there was a sense of inclusion and everyone has been warm and supportive towards me as a new member of the team. The variety of the client base and projects currently underway is also hugely motivating, and it will be exciting to become involved with these soon.

What is your favourite part about being a developer?

My favourite aspect of being a software developer would be keeping my mind active with new challenges, finding solutions to problems and considering alternative perspectives. Generally, this rewards me with a sense of happiness, conversely it also offers the opportunity to grow as a person when tackling projects of greater sophistication or complexity when new approaches or considerations are required.

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

I really love JavaScript and TypeScript on a syntactic level! Also a bit of a Java fan. Web technology, for me, is one of the most compelling areas to work in because, contrary to popular belief, there remains a lot of room for the consideration of deeper topics like performance optimization, algorithms, data structures, encryption and parallelism that one might associate with the classic compiled or interpreted languages.

What hobbies do you have?

Main hobbies include music, travel, skiing, wildlife and woodworking, but my favourite thing is going for a walk with my family and my dog, Ziggy.

Any interesting facts?

I once decided to cycle the coastal road in Iceland and it was a blast to see so many areas of pristine natural beauty whilst moving through the landscape entirely immersed and completely reliant on one’s physical effort. n.b. The distance and cold necessitated consumption of extreme quantities of Haribo Starmix.

Well that was fun! Welcome to the team!

Stay tuned to catch up with more of new recruits in the next few weeks, in the meantime head over to our careers site to see the current opportunities we have!