Meet Mark, our remote worker who enjoys watching Bayern Munich football matches whilst sipping on some cold craft beer. In his free time, he likes to unwind by watching light comedy TV programmes before bed and thrilling TV programmes like The Walking Dead for some pure entertainment. Mark is also proud of a side project he’s working on, which involves electrical engineering and helps to optimise room humidity and temperature. He came up with this nifty solution for his own home and is being tested by third parties – fun fact, there are now six installations across Malta! Overall, Mark is a tech enthusiast who loves stepping outside of his comfort zone to take on new challenges.
How long have you been working for Cleverbit?
For almost three years – I joined at the start of the pandemic.
What is your role at Cleverbit?
I’m a software team lead.
How would you describe your job to someone without a technical background?
My day revolves around tackling technical challenges, keeping open communication channels with the client, and conducting technical interviews.
What’s your earliest tech-related memory?
I was born with tech surrounding me, so even my earliest memories had a PC in them, specifically a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K.
Did you always know you wanted to work in tech?
When I was around 6 years old, my father had written some software on the PC, and that inspired me. In fact, I started coding around the age of 7. But that was 1989, and software development back then wasn’t anywhere near as big as it is now. So it felt more like a dream at the time…a bit like aspiring to become an astronaut or a famous footballer. That dream lived on for quite a while, during which I was considering career paths which seemed more realistic.
Describe your day-to-day routine, if you have one.
I try not to fall into a routine, but some things can’t be avoided, like taking my daughter to school and bringing her back, working, and watching some comedy TV shows right before I sleep.
People who work with tech can be superstitious. Do you have a favorite computer superstition or ritual?
I wouldn’t go as far as calling them superstitions; they’re closer to expectations derived from experience, such as writing a big chunk of code and being skeptical that it would work the first time.
Who is your professional hero?
I’m afraid to say I don’t really have one. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, so I look for the strength in a person and don’t look at idolising anyone. If I absolutely had to choose one, I’d say it’s Dennis Ritchie, but more out of feeling that he’s quite underappreciated.
Is there a project that you’ve worked on at Cleverbit that really stood out to you for whatever reason?
A particularly challenging one was creating a SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) server for handling phone calls and allowing people to talk to a voicebot.
What’s the office culture like at Cleverbit?
One of the perks of working with Cleverbit is that they give you the opportunity to work from home, which is particularly helpful towards work-life balance, especially when you need to take young kids to school, for example. I have not worked from the office enough to form an opinion on the office culture but judging from the work events and the calls I’d say it’s a very positive environment.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
With the accelerated development of AI, there have lately been a number of potential hypothetical scenarios put forward, one of which would involve AI taking over a lot of programming tasks. This question made me wonder; What else could I work as? And I’m stumped…. Software development is so close to me that the only thing I can think of is still related to tech…the other option would be a sports analyst.