An interview with Andrew Cunningham, Project Manager at SaltDNA.
Time with the company: 4 Years
As part of my degree I had to complete a placement year with a company of my choice. Having only completed one year of my degree, I wasn't sure what type of company I wanted to go into but I knew that mobile app development was top of my list. SaltDNA had been in contact with a connection of mine and they recommended that I check the company out. I fired them an email with my CV and within a week I was in for a chat with the team.
I knew cybersecurity was becoming an area of interest for more and more industries but after talking to Joe and some other members of the team, it was clear I would be missing out if I didn't get involved. The team itself was relaxed yet focused, the SaltDNA office atmosphere was somewhere I wanted to work.
Before my placement year officially began I was working in the office as part of the QA team. This allowed me to get to know the SaltDNA solution; I could see what worked well and what I would eventually go on to fix. This time also exposed me to agile development and how sprints worked.
After spending time in QA I moved into Android Development. I had always been an Apple fanboy so moving to Android Development almost felt like cheating; I am happy to confirm that I am an Android convert now.
Android development was very different to anything I had done in university and was quite overwhelming at the start. Thankfully the team got me up to speed and were happy to answer all of my questions. Before I knew it, my work was being released into people's hands.
When I finished my placement year I moved onto a part-time basis, working between my studies and through the summer holidays. Being able work like this meant that I could not only fund my student life but also keep up my technical learning letting me finish university with three years of professional experience.
Coming back as a full time employee has been a breeze. This is a place I have known for years, it wasn't like I was starting at a brand new company and having to learn all the ropes: I've been able to get straight to work.
Nowadays I am Project Manager for SaltDNA, making sure that we are sticking to our roadmap and delivering features on time for our customers. I know I am biased but the SaltDNA team are incredibly motivated and make managing the project very straight forward. If I get the chance, I'll also try to grab the odd Android task!
Go to your Google, Facebook or Twitter account and request your data. You will not believe the amount of information these companies have about you, and you have signed up for it all without reading the fine print. Like most people I didn't really give this much thought but after downloading my Twitter data after a conversation with a friend I was astonished by what they had. Of course, none of it was bad but it felt intrusive to have all that information about me held by such a large company. The way I think I about my digital footprint has completely changed.
It's hard to narrow down what the best part of my job is. I work with great people who teach me something new every day, I have complete autonomy over my work and I never leave the office without having had a good laugh during the day.
What Advice would you give to others starting their career in the Cybersecurity Industry?
Check out your digital footprint and ask yourself whether you would want any of that information getting into the hands of people who you hadn't approved.
Cybersecurity can seem like quite an overwhelmingly large industry but it's also incredibly exciting! Get involved, learn something new and build something that's going to help people!