Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Herman Chan

  • Name: Herman Chan

    Job title: Senior Software Engineer at PEAK6 Investments

    What does your typical day look like?

    I always start the day with a great cup of coffee. That allows me to get mentally ready for the day to come. We have a team that is comfortable working across the stack, so you will find me jumping into the frontend and backend development. That includes some of our more complicated data-analytics pipelines and machine-learning workflows.

    What are you currently working on? 

    PEAK6 owns one of the most well-known esports organisations: Evil Geniuses. My role is within their technology team, and I work across many products, including our recently released esports analytics platform Factor. It provides data-driven insights, predictions, and stories for professional League of Legends matches, teams, and players.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    I would be lying if I said I did not find the esports aspect of PEAK6 enticing. PEAK6 has a diverse portfolio of businesses and so many talented people. When I initially spoke with the recruiter, there was no Belfast office. The excitement of growing a team here inspired me to join. I love working with such a great team. I also like to challenge myself and I get to innovate on daily basis.

    Did you always want to work in the tech industry?

    I used to take apart my toys out of curiosity. I have fond memories of tinkering with RC racing cars and replacing parts for better speed and efficiency. When I graduated from school, I was super into online gaming. Back in those days, if you wanted to play somewhat competitively, you needed your own server. I started learning to write scripts and manage Linux-based systems for a small online company. In return, I got access to a server to play with my friends. Little did I know, I’d already started building out my CV by having hands-on experience in the tech world.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    I love solving problems, big or small. As a team, we collaborate to understand the challenge, and because we're working on the cutting-edge, there might not be an obvious solution. Luckily, our leaders empower us to make key decisions and utilise new technology.

    What would you say to other people considering a job in the tech industry?

    The tech industry is a relatively young industry that is constantly growing and trying to find its feet. That has its challenges, but the benefit is that there is something for everyone in this space. My passion for improving a person's well-being allowed me to work in healthcare in the past. Then my passion for gaming brought me here.

    How do you see this technology impacting our lives? 

    The technology I have been involved with has always made a difference. We live in a world with expectations for instant change, but in reality, there are very fine margins within any competitive space. I am able to engineer products that can provide insight and identify these margins. I love building solutions that can add that extra value to the end-user, to allow them to focus on what is important to them.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    No one person inspired me to work in this field; it was many. When I struggled to get a place in university, the tech industry welcomed me with open arms.

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

    The internet. Modern life depends on it, for better or worse. It makes me feel connected and disconnected with everyone and everything at the same time.

    What tech gadget could you not live without? 

    A coffee grinder. My brain runs on fresh-ground coffee for fuel.

    Read more about our Tech Trailbazers on Sync NI here. Find out more about PEAK6's job opportunities on our Jobs page here.

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