Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazer: Claire Wilgar


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  • Name: Claire Wilgar

    Role: Senior Frontend Engineer, ESO

    What does your typical day look like?

    Most days I work from home, so I sit down at my desk around 9am with a huge mug of tea and start catching up on emails. My mornings are usually dedicated to focus work, writing, reviewing code and helping team members with coding problems. In the afternoon our US team members come online, so it’s usually the best time to catch up and schedule in any meetings. Even when at home, we use slack to communicate for both projects and socially, it’s a nice touch for those days. I love the hybrid model that ESO offers and on days I do go into the office there’s always someone to chat with or grab a quick coffee! I usually finish around 5.30pm and in the evenings, I like to make dinner and play PC games or watch a movie and reset for the next day!

    What are you currently working on?

    My current project is a software system for hospitals to handle patient details and record what happens to them in the hospital. I work on the UI which is the part the users interact with every day so there’s a big focus on our customers. I also work on a library of components that other ESO products can use to keep our software consistent.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    I wanted to work somewhere where I felt like I was really making a positive impact, and ESO really fits that description for me. It’s really rewarding to know that the work we’re carrying out is making a real difference, helping deliver better patient care and improving efficiency for those working in hospitals, as paramedics and in fire services, as well as the people they help, and I really feel like I’m improving things for our users.

    Did you always want to work in this industry (tech)?

    I didn’t really know anything about the industry until I was at University - I picked my degree topic because I enjoyed electronics and computers, but I wasn’t familiar with just how many roles and types of companies there are. I can’t imagine working in any other industry.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    I work on user interfaces with a focus on accessibility, this includes making sure our products are fully accessible for everyone including those with temporary or permanent impairments. It’s really rewarding to know that I’m making the best version of our products for users, which are fully accessible. I also really enjoy mentoring and working with other folks who are new to Frontend as well as sharing best practices throughout the company.

    What would you say to other people considering a job in this industry (tech)?

    I would say “do it”! There are so many roles in the industry that will appeal to different people and involve different skills, and NI has a great tech community. In addition, there are various routes such as apprenticeships and even self-teaching. I would encourage anyone to at least try it out and see if they enjoy it, because I really do!

    How do you see this technology impacting on our lives?

    The work we’re doing in ESO covers many aspects of emergency service work, including harnessing data to identify insights and trends that can help deliver better patient care. My team’s project involves creating software to manage patients during their time in hospital, it gives doctors a view of their history and previous treatments to paint a full picture, which can have a huge impact on that patient.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    My school physics teachers were a big inspiration when choosing my degree, and once I completed my tech placement, I know software was what I wanted to do long-term. I’d also say the people around me whose different circumstances really impact how they can use the web, that’s what really inspired me to prioritise accessibility.

    What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years? What tech gadget could you not live without?

    I think the surge in smartphones and now tablets is a huge one - so many more people are able to access the internet without needing a PC to do so. In turn, it means many more people are online every day and able to communicate with friends and family. I definitely couldn’t live without my phone or tablet, or my Bluetooth headphones!

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