It’s been a hot minute since we met one of our Storm Troopers, but we’re back with our globetrotting SharePoint Developer, Sandra! Find out how she went from NASA to Storm, what’s on her bucket list and how she likes to spend her time outside of the office, to name but a few.
Hey, Sandra! Can you tell us a bit about your background?
After school, I knew I wanted to do a computing course but wasn’t sure which one – I was dabbling in doing history and computing – not an obvious combination! I took a year out and worked for Marconi as a pre-university trainee that included day release electronics and computing courses at the local college. I didn’t enjoy the electronics so much, though working on circuit boards was good fun.
It was when I got to work on a train simulator system – in Pascal would you believe – that I was totally hooked! On their advice, I went to Strathclyde University and did a BSc Hon in Computer Science and Microprocessor Systems. Since then, I’ve worked in small start-ups, larger service companies and even did a couple of stints of lecturing! Almost 10 years ago, I started working with SharePoint and haven’t looked back!
So, how did you become interested in development?
I desperately wanted to be an astronaut, specifically to go to the moon, but when I was about 12, I found out the RAF wouldn’t let me be a pilot as I had terrible eyesight. So, I decided I’d work for NASA in Launch Control and should learn about computing.
I never wavered from the idea that I would study computing, even when the career advisor at school told me I should be a librarian instead – to be fair I was an avid reader!
How did you end up at Storm?
I’d been living in Brunei for four years, as my husband’s job moved out there and I spent my time working remotely for clients back in the UK. Working from home was great, but I missed working directly with people.
When we moved back to the UK, I started looking for opportunities to join a company in Edinburgh and luckily found a role here. I started in January this year, so still a bit of a newbie!
What does your role entail?
I’m part of the SharePoint team, and we work with clients to create, manage and develop their SharePoint sites. SharePoint is very versatile and can be used to develop websites, intranets and business applications, along with having loads of functionality out of the box. SharePoint is always changing, which keeps it interesting, and we try to push the boundaries of what it can do to support what our clients need.
How long have you been in Edinburgh? What do you get up to in your spare time?
When we moved back to the UK, we decided we wanted to settle in central Scotland and ended up choosing Edinburgh. I’m originally from Fife, but had never lived here – I love it! There’s so much going on and I probably take too much advantage of all the great places to eat! I like all the green spaces and amazing architecture, and enjoy walking or running different routes, getting to know my way around the city.
If you could add one song to the office playlist, what would it be?
There are always some good songs – some terrible ones – but some favourites too! I go through phases, but I’m listening to Twin Atlantic a lot at the moment, so maybe Crash Land.
What’s your favourite thing about Storm?
I really like the fact that there are so many experts in their fields and we all work together to bring a project to fruition. So, for instance, that means I don’t have to design the front end, because I’m terrible at it and would end up producing something from the 90’s! All blinking text and terrible colours!
What has been your proudest achievement to date?
Most recently, it would probably be doing a marathon. I’m not a runner, and generally a couch potato, so forcing myself to get out and train for five months was a huge achievement for me. Getting round and finishing was icing on the cake!
Amazing, well done! How many countries have you visited?
Oh, it’s interesting to count them up! Excluding the home nations, then 25 – loads left to visit!
Finally, what’s on your bucket list?
I love travelling and have managed to do quite a bit so far, but I’ve not managed to do much in the Americas. I’d love to take a few months around South America, but until then the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley would be at the top of my list. Or maybe driving from San Francisco down to San Diego, or maybe Calgary and Banff… so many places to see!
Thanks for your time, Sandra!
If you’d like to be one of our wonderful Storm Troopers, take a look at our current vacancies to find the perfect one for you.