In our new series, we explore the different roles at BIOS and what makes BIOS such an interesting place to be.
Introducing Bret Patterson, Senior Software Engineer.
Tell us about your role and main responsibilities at BIOS
I’m a Senior Software Engineer. I created our original devops infrastructure, Cloud Software Infrastructure (Scala Servers), and helped write our original Frontend code in React. I now focus primarily on the Cloud Software Infrastructure and Frontend code as well as write python clients for the research team to use to easily, and securely, access our Servers.
What led you to get into this line of work?
I’ve always loved computers, especially computer games, and after short stint studying Electrical Engineering I thought it was a good idea to focus my University studies on Computer Science since I found myself always spending my free-time writing software. I love all aspects of Software Development but really like to work on the complete picture and see Products come to life. It’s especially rewarding when you have a really excellent Designer and Front-end developer who make a product look as good as the underlying core is.
What interested you about what we do?
I think it’s every Technologist's, or Science Fiction enthusiast's, dream to help develop the technology to enable direct Human-Computer neural interfaces! There is so much potential in this space, once you solve key problems, it’s staggering.
What do you like best about your job?
The constant learning is what I like the most about working in Tech and there are lots of opportunities to learn when working with such a diverse tech and research team.
What are the benefits of working here?
BIOS has teams working on hardware, firmware, C/++ software, Elite Mathematicians, Cloud Software developers, neural scientists, and more all working together to solve these really difficult problems. Being able to see into the daily life and thought processes of all these different roles is truly eye opening.
What are the people like?
Everyone is friendly and helpful.
Is there a specific project at BIOS that you’ve particularly enjoyed working on? I really enjoy working with the research team to capture and visualise data. The data Observatory is probably the project I enjoyed the most working on. I'm a big fan of Big Data Analytics and especially enjoy working on algorithms and visualisations to derive insights from data. The data observatory allows us to browse through dozens of visualisations, in 2d & 3d charts, of analyses performed around interesting points in time within our trial datasets. The frequency of data we collected made visualising any meaningful timespan of data very challenging. When you have 10’s of thousands of data points, with multiple channels, per second it can be vary hard to efficiently locate, fetch, and render charts spanning more than a few seconds. Optimising both the frontend and backend code for these large datasets was really fun.
What advice would you give to new entrants into this industry?
In the beginning you should always focus on working where you have the most to learn. You want to work with people smarter than you, but even more importantly you want to work an environment that facilitates learning and personal growth.
What have been the highlights of your career prior to working with BIOS?
Working at Spredfast. The management team was incredible, the people I worked with on a daily basis were extremely smart and talented. The amount I learned while working in this extremely positive environment over 5 years was incredible.