Meet our Senior Software Engineer, James

The Covid-19 pandemic no doubt increased our hiring pool which meant we were able to talk with candidates from across the UK and overseas. Despite GPS technology being used and relied upon by billions of users globally, our industry is pretty small and GNSS technologies aren’t familiar to everyone - so hiring talent from further afield has been a recruitment game-changer.

Nottingham-based James joined us in July 2021 as our C++ expert - here’s a glimpse into his work world.

James Cambridge Focal Point

James in the Cambridge office

What do you do, day-to-day?

As a Senior Software Engineer it is my responsibility to improve and maintain our code base. This can range from simple bug fixes to porting complex algorithms from our GNSS engineers, all while ensuring we maintain high software quality with testing and reviews.

What product are you most excited about benefiting from precise accuracy and why?

I’m excited to see what kinds of new products become possible with this level of precision. I really hope it expands opportunities for creative and talented companies and individuals to really push what’s possible.

Android or IOS?

I have been on iOS since the iPhone 6!

What book, podcast or tv series do you have on the go?

I’m currently reading The Ministry For the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson, a really fascinating hard sci-fi novel set in the near future about climate change. Considering all the weather events happening this year alone, I think it’s an essential read.

What was it like joining a team amidst a national health pandemic?
There were definite pros and cons to joining a new company during a pandemic but FocalPoint had an excellent onboarding process. While it would’ve been great to see more people in person, it was also quite nice to be able to take a break and sit in the garden for a few minutes to process everything.

As a hybrid worker, based in Nottingham, I won’t be full time in the office but I’m looking forward to more social activities with my team and the rest of the company.

What do you do outside of work?

When I first started my career I played a lot of video games but since I spend most of my day at a desk in front of the computer I really value the opportunity to get out and do more hands-on, social activities. Those are mostly climbing but also board games.

James minitures 1

One of James' many miniature creations!

At home I still play the odd video game, paint a few miniatures (pictured above) for my board games and love watching films and listening to music. I almost became a professional drummer in my late teens and I keep meaning to dust off the kit. Finally, I really enjoy cooking, especially BBQ in the summer.

What do you like most about your job?

For me, the greatest part of software engineering is solving problems with near instant feedback. It makes learning and growing much better when it’s easy to run and test your code.

Have you come across boundaries to tech?

I’m very fortunate that pre-COVID, the only real barriers to different sectors in tech were geographic, with most interesting jobs being located in London & the South. When you have a partner and a mortgage it’s not easy to move to a different part of the country, and I don’t have school aged children to consider. Working in a hybrid manner changes that; I can take a risk on a new job without these other factors at play, but we could then decide to move later at a more convenient time if we felt it would be beneficial.

James hybrid cambridge

Why did you want to work in tech?

Growing up I was always playing with computers, and as tech was improving at such a rapid pace at that age it was impossible to ignore. When I went to study Physics at University it became clear towards the end of my degree that I was a better software engineer than a physicist so that was the direction I chose.

In a work capacity, what would you really like to be doing, supported by FocalPoint, in the next 3-5years

The C++ community is truly global, with lots of conferences. As the language is complex and constantly evolving I would hope to be able to attend conferences in person. Watching videos is one thing but I think sitting down with other engineers from different areas would be really beneficial. Maybe one day I will even do something interesting enough to present myself!

The future of an autonomous, connected world revolves around hyper-accuracy and we’re excited to work with our customers on making this a reality. If you’re interested in a product demo, please head over to our contact form.

If our mission, to improve every positioning solution on the planet, sounds like a journey you’d like to be part of - why not take a look at our open roles.