1. What is your current role at Adept Solutions?
Support manager and technical analyst.
2. What led you to this career?
In 2001 I joined Logica on a university summer placement, and I re-joined the company after graduating the following year. Apart from 6 months in Edinburgh I’ve worked in various capacities on Oil and Gas projects ever since for a long list of clients right across the globe.
3. What do you like most about your job?
Mostly I like being presented with challenging problems and working out the best ways to solve them, and I really enjoy working alongside the kind of talented, enthusiastic people you find in the O&G industry.
4. What is a work-related accomplishment that you are proud of?
Seeing projects that I’ve worked on – often for months and years – go live is always a rewarding if slightly nerve-racking experience. Possibly the one I’m most proud of so far was a very challenging project for a Canadian company that was delivered during 2020, in the midst of having to adapt to working full-time from home and everything else that has happened over the last 18 months or so.
5. Who has influenced you the most when it comes to how you approach your work?
The IT community supporting the Oil and Gas industry in Aberdeen is a pretty small, tightknit group of people and I feel like I’ve learned something from just about everyone I’ve worked with, some of whom I’ve known on and off for 20 years now.
In addition to that, during 2018-2020 I completed a Master’s degree in Data Science. Much of the course has influenced my approach to problem solving and working with datasets towards a far more methodical, often statistical way of looking at things than I had done in the past.
6. What is your go-to productivity trick?
I often do my best thinking away from a screen, just working through problems on a piece of paper or allowing my brain to drift and come up with tangential ideas. I’ve lost count of the number of solutions I’ve come up with on the bus ride home. A simple change of scenery is often the best way to work things out.
7. What is one thing that you are learning now and why is it important?
I have a keen interest in machine learning which is increasingly becoming a part of all our lives, from algorithms recommending what to watch next on Netflix to Oil and Gas companies using it in place of traditional reserve management and hydrocarbon accounting practices.
8. What is your favourite way to unwind after a busy day?
Running, tennis, playing with the kids or going to the cinema.
9. Working from home or working from the office?
They both have their advantages. For days when I just need to get my head down and think, being at home without distractions and with music playing works best for me. You do miss out on being able to collaborate and talk things through in person however, and you are less likely to have your meetings interrupted by young children and/or cats!