Updated on by Hayley Brown
Cameron is a Solution Architect with tonnes of knowledge and experience with APIs. He studied computer science at the University of Brighton and joined the Cyclr team as a Junior/Connector Developer. He has since gone on to progress with Cyclr and become a Solution Architect.
What’s your current role and what do you like about it?
I’m a Solutions Architect (SA for short). I originally started off as a Connector Developer in the company, but I enjoy/wanted to try the client-facing side of the business. This role allows me the best of both worlds. I think it’s a fun mixing of applying not just knowledge of a connector, but knowledge of the limitations that an API presents within Cyclr, and finding ways to make that work for Partners, as well as learning more about practical use cases for the product that we build.
At the end of the day, anyone can read API documentation, but knowing how to implement & leverage that information properly is what really allows businesses to thrive.
How did you get into Programming?
If we’re going to be candid, I had a choice to make after A-Levels. My passions lie in English Literature, but if I thought about it reasonably, the money would be more guaranteed in Computer Science. I got into Programming because it was a certified route to a job post-grad, and I could then keep my passion as something on the side to enjoy when I want to.
If we’re going for an answer that people would more readily accept, I got into Programming because I loved video games as a kid. It’s all good having fun and playing a game, but I loved knowing the minutia of what was happening and how it was working. Finding flaws in world logic was fun, abusing the limits of the code to cheat, I loved it.
I liked those games that allowed you to set limited knowledge/functions for something. Armoured Core For Answer was a PSP game that lets you set up AI modules (Not as we know them now) for your robot so that you didn’t have to play every fight in the league. I think that was my first real taste and ever since then I quite enjoyed the idea of being able to create something that was entirely mine.
What’s your earliest memory of you learning to code?
Primary School. We all did Scratch didn’t we? I mean, I’m at least of the age that was a mandatory part of the IT curriculum in school. It was basic, sure, but it was a start.
What’s a programming language that you would build EVERYTHING and ANYTHING in and why?
See this is a tough one. Everyone has a language they love and they find useful, but surely it’s down to how people think about problems. I could choose something that works explicitly with functional programming like Haskell, what fun it was to struggle through that in Uni. Or I could say something easy for people to pick up, like Python. Or I could go off the wall and choose that one language we used in uni for a Machine Code calculator, but I won’t, because that’s caused generational anguish.
I personally like a blend of ease of use that can inherit aspects of functional programming in isolation. For that reason, I’d probably choose GO. You’d never catch me calling myself a GOpher (yet, if you want to steal me away, Google you know where I am) but I definitely loved the courses I’ve done on it, and working within the language. It makes me feel the same way I did when I first learned Laravel (Although it’s grossly over-engineered now) and that’s something rare, for me at least, when it comes to coding.
What’s something you think Software developers do not do enough of?
Talk. I don’t mean conversing with each other, but I think talking about other aspects of a business can be useful. You can share your views, learn about the company, and most importantly, understand each other better. The more you talk, the less likely it is that Sales will over-promise, that PMs will give you too much work, or Sprint Managers will split your time over projects in insane ways.
I’d say it’s progressed a lot more from the stereotypes of Developers before. I think company cultures like Google and Apple have really revolutionised the outward appearance of what a developer has to be, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the end.
Oh and also, if you don’t want to talk more, that’s fine too.
What is your least favourite thing about programming?
The horrendous middle ground where nothing is working properly. It happens more in “artistic” professions, which is funny because it applies so well to something “scientific” in this sense. I just hate it, it’s such a slog, and even if the light is at the end of the tunnel sometimes it’s just so much easier to cast a project to the aether forever than power through.
What’s a technology you’re currently learning or excited to learn?
As if the date at the top of the article won’t date it enough, I’m really trying my best to get good at AI prompting. It’s just something that’s so additive to my process. Once I understand how to get the best out of my prompting I’m sure I’ll be leaps ahead of the average person when it comes to using this new technology.
Time travel 10 years into the past or 10 years into the future? What does technology look like?
10 years into the future and I’m sat in a floating chair, wired directly into my computer so that I can just imagine code with my AI assistant correcting every single thing I do wrong. I’m working at like 2% of my mental capacity while 7 virtual sports streams are loaded into my brain so that I can process & track all my favourite leagues. I want to place a bet, but gambling is illegal because some sentient AI has successfully predicted every sporting event until the end of time.
Why do I think this? Overactive imagination.