BSc Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Aberystwyth University (Wales, UK)

Ollie Saunders

Software Development & DevOps Manager

Why I choose to work at Academic Innovation:

With my industry background working at small businesses, I was drawn to AI because I felt that it combined the best parts of working at a startup (cutting edge projects, autonomy and the ability to have a large individual impact) with the resources and opportunities afforded by working at one of the world’s foremost universities.

Being treated as a valued thought-partner and never needing to compromise the product to make a profit are two aspects of working at AI that I value highly. I find it very gratifying that the work I do can have a direct and positive impact on people, particularly my fellow first-generation college students and graduates.

Current Roles/Previous Experience:

My role in the software team involves a lot of software development and architecture, with the rest of my time being split between management and infrastructure work – configuring and maintaining the platforms that our software tools are built on and making sure the servers don’t (metaphorically) catch fire.

I am the technical lead for Problem Roulette, Sage and most recently Tandem. I supervise and mentor some members of our software tools team and oversee various infrastructure projects for these tools.

Before coming to AI I worked in (technically just north of) Silicon Valley, building devices for the “Internet of Things”. Before that I was a freelance developer working for various clients, both back home in the UK and globally.

Ask me to learn about:

For work: Slack, Trello, backend web development, designing a good API, the how and why of software infrastructure and what on earth “DevOps” is.

For fun: Amateur astronomy and the space industry, why the smart home is the greatest thing since sliced bread (or why owning a dozen Alexa devices isn’t completely insane), stereo / home theatre gear and the history and enjoyment of tea.

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