Meet Dafydd: A former red carpet regular turned Software Engineer

Hi Dafydd, tell me a bit more about what you do here?

I’m a software engineer in a team called “Growth Squad”. We build software in and around the signup flow of our website.

As a software engineer my responsibilities are primarily writing code and code reviews, some mentoring of more junior team members, contributing to team planning and outside of the direct team I am also involved in the engineering recruitment process.

How long have you worked at tails?

Just over two and a half years.

How did you get into your current line of work?

I got into software engineering quite late in a very roundabout way. Before software, I had a career as a sound engineer in feature film audio post production. Whilst I enjoyed the work, the hours and culture eventually took their toll, so I decided to retrain.

I’d dabbled with building very basic websites over the years and have always been interested in technology, so it made sense to me to try this line of work next.

I taught myself the basics, getting a flavour for coding and soon made the decision to take it seriously. I enrolled in a remote bootcamp course, studying for about a year in my spare time. After that, I felt I was at a level that could get me an entry level position somewhere, which is when I applied for a role here.

What’s your most memorable moment at so far?

That’s a tough one! There have been quite a few.

One of my favourites is from a hackday where a couple of the team turned my dog into a remotely controlled robodog. Essentially they strapped a rod to her back, attached to a motor, which dangled a treat in front her face. Controlling it with a mobile phone, when the rod turned moving the treat left or right, she changed direction. Hilarious.

Quick Fire Q’s

Dog or Cat?

I couldn’t possibly choose, I have both!

Outside of work, what do you love doing?

I love writing code and learning new things, so I tend to have a hobby project ticking over most of the time.

Aside from that, I recently moved to Brighton having bought a house to renovate, so that’s keeping me busy. I also took up skateboarding again for the first time in about 15 years and am loving that!

What was the name of your first pet and what were they?

Bronwyn and Harvey, labradors.

What’s your advice for someone thinking about applying for a job at…?

If you like what we’re about and what we’re doing, just go for it. If you get to the interview stages, just be yourself. If you don’t know something, that’s ok, just be open and honest.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Not to be afraid to completely change direction. And if you’re thinking of doing that, do it sooner rather than later.

A typical weekend for me is…

Walk the dog, go for a skate, go for dinner, see some friends, write some code, work on the house, watch some Netflix…

One thing people don’t know about you

In my last career I was lucky enough to attend the BAFTA’s and Oscars, walking the red carpet at both events and going to the after parties, definitely an experience I will never forget.