By Zoe Gadon-Thompson & Filsane Haji
At VISFO, we have a brilliant tech team working on various exciting projects. One of our full-stack Software Engineers, Zoe Gadon-Thompson, joined VISFO in February. She gathered experience in platform engineering, site reliability, infrastructure and more in a variety of roles before she joined us. We interviewed Zoe about her experiences at VISFO so far…
1. What does a typical day as a VISFO software engineer look like?
I work remotely, so a good day starts at 8 am, and on a really good day, I might brush my hair. Once online I check Slack to make sure I haven’t missed anything from the previous day and for general company comms. Then I visit the Jira board to pick up a work ticket (task) or continue an ongoing project from the previous day. I do a bit of front-end and back-end work, on an as-needed basis. Some days are filled with meetings, which I do enjoy as they are a chance to socialise and discuss important things.
2. Why did you decide to become one?
When I was 20, I had my daughter and at the time I was working at a call centre. I wanted to have a good career for her, so I started a foundation degree in Software Engineering, which came with struggles and a lot of hard work. I started going to meet-ups and networked to absorb knowledge from people in the tech community, which led to me getting my first job as a developer.
3. What was your journey to becoming a software engineer at VISFO? Previous experience?
Before VISFO I worked at a start-up dealing with bereavement, and the processes people go through when someone passes away. I loved the environment, work culture and small team, as well as the purpose of what we were doing. I liked that there wasn’t all this red tape to go through for approval to use technology. I searched for a new role to get back into coding instead of just platform engineering stuff.
4. What top 3 personal qualities are good fits for your team?
- To be a good listener and respect the opinion of others.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously and be open to criticism, as a software engineer you should probably be ready to have your work scrutinised, as it’s the only way you’ll be able to grow
- Sense of humour. It’s not a must, but part of why I enjoy coming to work is having a laugh with people.
5. What’s the best part of being an engineer at VISFO?
I love the flexibility of working from home. I am trusted to get my work done, without all the micro-management. Even though it’s not a flat structure, there’s no typical hierarchy here. I just love the people at VISFO, everyone is so nice. I hadn’t coded for a while before I joined, so I’m learning a lot from the other engineers. My team have been helpful, patient and willing to listen to my opinion.
6. Tell us what you enjoy about working within the healthcare /pharmaceutical space and how different is it to what you have done before?
Although I hadn’t previously worked in the healthcare / pharmaceutical sectors, I have always chosen to work with teams and organisations that do things to help improve society in some way. Our work at VISFO feels like the right way to push the pharmaceutical industry by making it more personal.
7. Sum up VISFO in 3 words?
Flexible, fun and divergent.
8. What do you work on in your VISFO L&D time, any exciting projects in the pipeline?
As I’m still quite new, I’m still getting used to tech stack and my work. I sometimes do a LinkedIn learning course or watch tutorials to gain clarity on certain things like typescript. I recently was learning GraphQL. I plan to do more joint learning with team members to learn new things.
9. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working – any hobbies, favourite TV shows, music?
Since the pandemic, I like playing games and crocheting. I’ve been playing Valheim a lot recently, as well as World of Warcraft and Minecraft.
10. Biggest personal success to date – what are you most proud of accomplishing that’s not work related?
I’ve spoken at events and conferences. I’ve also run some tech meet-ups. I’m proud of this because it’s not something I had ever pictured myself doing as an introvert, putting myself out of my comfort zone.