Everybody has talent, it’s just a matter of moving around until you’ve discovered what it is.
We don’t all land where we expect to as we’re dropped unceremoniously into the world of work by The Real World™. It’s certainly true of the people here at Storm ID (especially if you believe that Kevin was really training to be a ballet dancer). Some have traveled far far away to figure out their talents, while others stayed closer to home. Edinburgh-born David is a Sharepoint Developer and most recent winner of the Storm Trooper award. We caught up with him to hear more about the man behind the gold storm trooper statue.
Hiya David, thanks for taking the time to chat! An easy question to start: how long have you been in Edinburgh?
Hey! I was born in Edinburgh and lived here until 2003 when I took a jaunt to Glasgow, I have been back in Edinburgh since 2009.
A local lad? Awesome! What’s your background?
After leaving high school I had the choice of doing Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or Software Engineering. My 17 year old self had questionable decision making ability so I went to study Mechanical Engineering (with Computer Aided Engineering) at Heriot Watt University.
I discovered during 3rd year that I was not cut out to be a mechanical engineer (as did many of my colleagues) but was too far down the rabbit hole to change tact so persevered and managed to get an honours degree out of it.
After graduating I tried to get a job in IT but got nowhere so spent a couple of years working for a few financial institutions. Boredom soon set in and I decided a change was needed, so I moved to Glasgow to do a Masters in Computer and Internet Technologies. After graduating a second time I got a job as a .NET developer for a solicitors in Glasgow.
In 2009 my future wife and I decided to move to Edinburgh where I got a job, again as a .NET developer, for a software consultancy firm. It was here I was sworn into the cult of SharePoint acting as support to the SharePoint Developer we had. After she left I became the sole SharePoint Developer, by which time I was fully indoctrinated into the ways of SharePoint.
When you’re not at work, how do you like to spend your time in the city?
Most of my time not at work is spent trying to keep a 2 year old entertained so mostly it involves trips to soft play, the zoo, museums and the many parks near where we live.
How did you become interested in development?
I always had an interest in programming in high school but a terrible Higher Computing teacher put me off following it as a career path when I went to university. Over my honours degree I became more interested in the “Computer Aided Engineering” part than the “Mechanical Engineering” part; so much so that my dissertation project was based solely on writing a software programme to find centre lines in 3D medical images.
When I left university it was a career in IT I wanted to pursue, although it took me a further 6 years to get anywhere.
How did you end up at Storm?
My old company was wound down and Storm were looking for a SharePoint Developer. Luckily for me my tactic of talking about SharePoint for 90mins in my interview did the trick. I have been here for almost 5 years.
If you could be any famous person for a day, who would it be and why?
George Lucas for two reasons,
1. I would get to wander around Skywalker Ranch without getting arrested
2. To understand the mindset of a man who used CGI to remove eyebrows and who created Jar Jar Binks
Undeniably the most hated Star Wars character of all time
You were awarded the Storm Trooper award for “holding the fort” in all things SharePoint. (Congrats again, by the way!) What does being a SharePoint Developer entail?
My role is Senior SharePoint Developer, and it involves managing our existing portfolio of SharePoint sites as well as scoping and building any new SharePoint sites/functionality that Storm have been commissioned to build. I enjoy solving the problems that working with SharePoint throws up on a daily basis and bending it to my will.
If you could add one song to the office playlist, what would it be?
Johnny Cash – Hurt. Depressing I know, but so so good.
What has been your favourite project to work on in your time here?
Probably building the intranet for the Scottish Government, it was 18 months of my life (and it’s still going) but I got to build some pretty cool stuff all while pushing the boundaries of what SharePoint can do.
What’s your favourite thing about Storm?
The freedom for me as a developer to push development in SharePoint in particular directions. This has allowed us to build a lot of things in SharePoint that wouldn’t necessarily achievable using “standard” SharePoint methods.
Or “End of month” drinks? That’s the cooler answer, right?
Haha, I think that’s a pretty great answer! Last question – do you have any hidden talents we might not know about?
Not sure it can be classed as a hidden talent but I used to give an awesome rendition (and by awesome I mean completely and absolutely terrible) of Ghostbusters. There may have also been some dance moves stolen from the “Real Ghostbusters” cartoon too. Many a patron of some rather questionable Edinburgh pubs bore witness to this.
Well, I know what’s going on the Halloween playlist next month…
Could you be next to join our Storm Troopers?
We’re an interesting bunch (with great projects to boot) and we’re always on the look out for talented individuals to join the team. If we’ve piqued your interest you can send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, head over to our careers site to check out our latest vacancies. We look forward to hearing from you!