Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Amy Crockett

  • Name: Amy Crockett

    Role: Software Engineer, Instil

    Software Engineer Hailing from the North Coast, with a degree in Computer Game Development from Queen’s University Belfast, I have been at Instil for almost two years.

    What does your typical day look like?

    First thing after I get in is turning on my computer and checking emails and slack messages. I’m currently working across two teams, so once my stand-ups are over, I pick up the most urgent work from the teams and start coding. There’s the odd day I get peace to work on this all day, but on most days I will be pulled into conversations or meetings about any relevant work at some point.

    What are you currently working on?

    A web portal that allows people to view and share information easily.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    I attended a Graduate fair at Queen’s and spoke to one of the engineers. That brief chat left a lasting impression on me, and the more research I did into the company, the more Instil’s culture and values looked like everything I was looking for in a job.

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

    Nope. I wanted to be a vet, then a dog breeder and a very thorough career quiz at school told me I should be a film director.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    As in life, there are always problems to solve in programming – big or small, simple or complex, user-defined or developer-induced ones. They take time to work through and the best part of my job is that moment of working out exactly what is wrong, and knowing how to fix it.

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

    Try learning anything physically creative - sewing, woodwork, crocheting, metalwork, pottery - anything you can hold in your hand after a short time and say ‘I made that’. Now make the same thing again - see how much faster you did it this time. Now learn how to do that in code. The initial learning curve is steep, but you will see yourself improve so stick at it!

    How do you see this technology impacting on our lives?

    I know my current project will bring peace of mind to people and allow them to do things more easily.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    I’m told that at the age of 3, I was hooked on a computer game involving kittens, and while I was perfectly capable of turning on our old desktop computer and operating the ball mouse and wired keyboard, I could not turn it off – maybe I just didn’t want to. It was my brothers’ computer, so I guess they were my enablers. To say they encouraged me is a bit of a stretch, as I think they mostly wanted me to get off so they could play horror games!

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

    I honestly can’t think of one specific thing. In general, technology as a whole has taken a huge leap forward when we think about how we used to do things. Virtual reality is having a huge impact on so many things. We now watch movies and play computer games in 360°. Hand in hand with this, the animation industry has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. CGI and 3D animation have developed into a series of niche industries, with medical imagery being one area that springs to mind.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    My laptop - my phone’s software crashed a couple of months ago and I lived without it for a couple of days (just about!). I used my laptop for everything!

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