Meet the team: Senior Software Engineer – Sam Faulls

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byHayfa Bukhari

This week we had the opportunity to catch up with our newest senior software engineer, Sam Faulls. Sam’s last role at McLaren Applied involved working in different roles including on virtual simulation platforms, allowing high-performance cars to be fully developed and tested in the virtual world. After just 9 months as a Senior Software Engineer Sam became Scrum Master, leading his team in cross-functional agile development methodologies.


We’re super excited to have Sam join us here at Aveni where his skills are a perfect fit. So here’s Sam as he talks us through his day to day routine and why he made the jump into the world of startups! 


Hey Sam, welcome to the team! How have your first few months been at Aveni?

It’s been great! The team has been really welcoming and I’ve been able to get stuck into all aspects of the system. I’ve learnt so much already and am really excited about the future of the company, the problems we are solving for our customers and the new technology we are developing.


What does a typical day look like for you? What exciting projects are you currently working on? 

We work in agile scrum teams, so a typical day starts with the morning stand-up. The rest of the day is a mix of working on new features, pairing up with team members to solve problems and thinking about more long term architecture decisions. I also spend time interviewing budding new developers. It’s always great to hear about how other software developers are tackling problems and to share the exciting things we are working on at Aveni.


How do you find working for a startup? How would you compare it to your previous roles? What are the biggest differences and what do you enjoy most about working for a startup?
It’s definitely different from the companies I have worked at before! Something that has taken some getting used to is just how small the company is. You have to be versatile and adaptable, problems that other companies have entire departments for, we have to just work out ourselves! One of the biggest positives for me has been both the freedom to drive real change on a technical and organisational level along with the immediate impact that those changes have to me, my team and our users. 


What would you say is the biggest challenge for the software development team at Aveni day to day?

One of the biggest challenges we face as a development team currently is in building a solid, scalable platform that can grow with us. There’s no shortage of exciting opportunities, great technology and interesting solutions, but how do we take advantage of them in a way that produces the most value to the most customers? It’s a never ending journey of iteration and improvement.


How do you stay up to date on new technologies related to your full-stack development? 

To stay up to date I like to draw on the collective expertise of my past and present colleagues. I have the good fortune to have worked with, and continue to work with some incredibly talented people, they provide me with an invaluable source of knowledge. In addition to this, COVID permitting, I like to attend tech conferences to hear from some of the best companies and engineers in the field.


What advice would you give to new students who are interested in the field of software engineering? 

Never stop learning. Software engineering moves fast, and this gives great opportunities to those that can keep up, regardless of their background, age or previous experiences! 


What’s it like managing the team and how are you enjoying your role as a senior developer? What are your plans around the future strategy of the company? 

It’s still early days, so I’m very much getting to know everyone and pulling together all of their great ideas. I’ve also been focussing on recruitment as we try to build the best team we can. My main plan for the future is to work hard on building an amazing and scalable culture as well as an amazing and scalable platform. I believe that these are key to both ours and our customers’ success.


What’s the best thing about working at Aveni? 

I would have to say it’s the open and collaborative culture. We’re a small team, but there’s no shortage of people to help out when you’re stuck on a problem. Code pairing is a regular part of the work day.


What do you enjoy doing outside of work? 

Outside of work I love all things food and drink, whether that’s making it or enjoying it. I love to cook and challenge myself in the kitchen and have even tried my hand at brewing my own beer. I also enjoy the occasional PC game, often a strategy game such as Starcraft, TotalWar or Factorio, but really whatever grabs me when I have some time.


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