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23 March 2018

Putting the intelligence into AI

Michael East

You browse the web on your phone, check the news on your laptop or book a table at your favourite restaurant online. But have you ever stopped to wonder how all of this actually works?

Well, it doesn’t happen by magic, it happens by developers and we just happen to have one of the very best here at D&F.

We catch up with Michael, our coding champion to find out about the world of making the online world go round.

 

Where did you start your journey in the development world?

It started super early, I remember my brother getting a Commodore Plus/4, he rarely used it so I started to tinker around with it and quickly became totally obsessed. With a little bit of help from my Dad explaining basic computer science, I started to code. After three or four months I’d developed my first basic programs.

After that I worked my way through most of the popular computing platforms of the era and kept experimenting until I got pretty good at writing programs for them.

I started my professional career with a work experience role at a little .com start up in Hythe and within 3 months I became a permanent employee and I’ve never looked back. Since then I’ve gone on to work on everything from developing systems for Internet Service Providers, worked on the design of an early pre-facebook social media platform, and helped develop one of the leading text message delivery platforms.

 

What’s your favourite thing about being a developer?

Nothing ever stays the same. As a discipline it is always progressing, evolving. There’s a conveyor belt of new programming languages, frameworks and libraries coming out all the time and it is great as it gives me a chance to push the boundaries of what is possible.  

 

In your opinion, what has been the most relevant tech leap in the last 10 years?

Ooo, that is a tough one, but I’d have to say it has been the advancements in AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning.

People think this is only just starting to make an appearance in the form of driverless cars or robots that can take your order in a restaurant but it already has a huge influence on our lives.

It exists in the form of retailers being able to match you to offers based on your previous spending habits and preemptively order stock based on predicted purchase patterns,  or Facebook being able to auto tag someone in a photo without having to tell them who is in the photo. It really is already all around us and has made a huge difference. The next decade is going to be a very exciting time in this area.

 

What do you do at D&F?

Interesting question, a range of things but chiefly I develop the websites and apps on projects. The role is pretty varied though and I end up working on all sorts of development depending on the what a customer needs.

I also do photography and filming. I’ve had a keen interest in photography and filmmaking for many years, I’ve done everything from photographing live music events to filming music videos for K-Pop artists. Now I’m able to put these skills to good use on projects at D&F.

 

If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to get into the industry, what would it be?

Just jump straight in, start learning, go online, teach yourself and look at the newest tech out there. You can teach yourself the basic science concepts and then start to apply and expand on those pretty easily once you get the basics. Once the foundations are in place, you can add other bits as you go along. Practical experience is invaluable and the more you accumulate the more adept you become at developing ground breaking solutions.

 

Want to find out more about the projects we have worked on and how we can work with you? Explore our website, pop into our studio or give us a call. Don’t be shy, say hello!

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