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Stephan Dowding

Technical Solutioneer

I am a software developer and tech lead, my passion lies in making clean, simple, understandable and maintainable systems.

I have worked in a wide variety of industries from banking, to government, to digital agencies. I started my career in the UK and I have spent the last few years working in Singapore.

More recently, I have developed an interest and passion in IoT and conversational interfaces. 

I enjoy working on IoT devices as dealing with electronics provides a different challenge to the pure software systems I've been used to. Also, I find that the fact that these devices can interact with and affect the real world makes them more satisfying to work with. 

I am also interested in conversational interfaces as they provide a new way of thinking about the interactions with technology and they often fuse well with IoT where a screen or mouse/keyboard may not be appropriate.

The Interview

The best advice I can give a current or future ThoughtWorker is

There is no such thing as a "bad project".  There are always interesting challenges to solve and things to learn.

One of the most interesting stories I recall from my time at ThoughtWorks was when

I was on a project where we were writing software to display chess games during a tournament. On the morning of the first games, we discovered that the timing rules we were using were wrong!  This would cause our software to misrepresent how much time each player had left, and could even state that a player had lost due to time, when they actually had plenty of time left on the clock.

With only a couple of hours left before the first games were due to start, I found myself running back to the office (in the rain) with chess clock in hand to fix the code.

Somehow, we managed to fix the code, test it, deploy to production and make it back to the tournament venue before the first move was played!

I've never enjoyed watching chess more than I did that day!

The thing I love most about my work is

I love the way that we make the impossible happen almost every day.  I especially like the way that solutions often come from places and people you would least expect!
(I remember one time where the project manager solved a technical issue that baffled all the developers!)