Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazer: Oscar Daly

  • What does your typical day look like?

    As an Apprentice Software Engineer, my day is exactly the same as any other software engineer at Instil, I work on real projects and make a real impact. On a Monday I attend Ulster University for the day to complete my Computing Systems degree and then from Tuesday to Friday I work full-time writing, fixing and testing code for software used by companies all over the world.

    What are you currently working on?

    Currently, we are working with Atlassian, a multinational company, to help them fix long-standing Jira Server bugs. Atlassian has over 200,000 customers and over 80% of the Fortune 500 are part of these customers which means I get to work with a lot of important and interesting companies.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    I applied to many companies for apprenticeship roles but I chose Instil because it stood out for many reasons. In particular, this was the amazing company culture, great support network, autonomy in your work and freedom to choose your university modules.

    Additionally, Instil offers incredibly competitive benefits like private healthcare, £1k hardware budget and a MacBook Pro, as well as a bonus for achieving first-class honours at the end of the apprenticeship. It’s easy to see why when it came to deciding which company I liked best, Instil were in a league of their own.

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

    Originally, I wanted to work in economics or finance but then I did work experience with Instil and that completely converted me to aspire for a career in tech.

    Now, I’m enjoying every minute of my apprenticeship as a software engineer. Being an apprentice is not for everyone, it’s hard work, but if it is for you it can be so rewarding. You will graduate at the same time as someone doing a standard degree with placement but will complete it with far more experience, no debt and have the freedom to travel and spend as you please because of your salary.

    For me, I feel like I’m in a better position by choosing an apprenticeship than I would have been if I had just gone down the standard university route.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    Being an apprentice with Instil feels a bit like cheating in a game. You’re 18 and only just starting out and yet you’ve got a full-time salary, private healthcare, trips to conferences and lots more benefits right from the start. I don’t need to worry about a part time job, placement or a job after uni. It feels a bit like you’ve got an unfair head start on everyone else but it’s not really unfair as this opportunity is available to anyone.

    Instil’s main priority always seems to be to look after their employees which is why there’s such a supportive and collaborative culture. This combined with the people who work there is the best thing about my work.

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

    The tech industry is a great industry to work in and has so many exciting opportunities. If you like the sound of an apprenticeship at Instil, they are available for all ages and our applications open on on the 16th of January. The application process through Workplus is straightforward and allows you to apply to multiple companies with just one application which opens up lots of different opportunities and saves a huge amount of time.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    The people at Instil when I went for my work placement helped me see how enjoyable and interesting working as a software engineer can be.

    What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years?

    ChatGPT is an amazing innovation to be released recently and seems to already be changing the way we search for information due to how efficient it is.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    My Airpods- whether I’m working, travelling or at the gym, I always have some music playing in the background.

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