This month for our latest 'Meet The Team' blog we have Immense Java Developer, Golfing Enthusiast and Biscuit connoisseur, Leo Horn.
Tell us a bit about Immense and what you do?
I’m a Java Developer at Immense, I have been doing that since I left University, so roughly 15 years, maybe more. I have worked across all sorts of industries, banking, racing, building and automotive.
At Immense, I’m part of the team building tools to provide simulation as a service.
How did you come to work at Immense?
I was working for a company at the time where I was not enjoying it, I got a call from a recruiter who told me all about Immense, that it was a really exciting new company who were doing some really cool stuff around simulation. I went to the office to have a look around; the team were still in the Catapult offices at this time as it was very early days. I remember I got to the office and there was a robot delivering the post, and I thought, SOLD, where do I sign up?
I think I was employee number 8!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The selection of free biscuits?
I really like that everyone is so skilled!
This is by far and away the most talented bunch of individuals I’ve ever worked with. I’ve learned so much from them all, it’s a pleasure to come and work with them. Every day I would say I learn something new from someone, whether its about work or something completely different, I’m always learning, everyone has something valuable.
What would you say is the most challenging part of the job?
I guess it’s the variation, I end up picking up quite a lot of tasks which are not my speciality. It’s always a bit of a dip into the unknown. But it means I’m always learning new things, it’s always something new and novel and interesting. It’s challenging as your constantly learning on the job, but also very rewarding.
What advice would you give to those thinking about moving into a STEM career?
I sort of fell into it as I had always been into technology as a child, I was always taking things apart and working out how everything worked, so I don’t have an engineering background per say, but my parents and grandparents were engineers and that’s sort of how I got into it.
I think it’s a great industry to be in as there is so much going on! It feels to me as if we are on the cusp of a new revolution, a transport revolution almost. Things in the next 20 years are going to be so completely different from where we are now, I don’t think people will own cars, I think there will be a lot of traffic in the sky, drones, delivery.
It’s a brilliant industry to get into!
What’s been your biggest career achievement so far?
I would say getting into the industry, the perseverance which helped me get my foot in the door. After I left University it was almost impossible to get a job without having any experience, and no one would give you experience. I spent months applying for hundreds of jobs and never gave up! I even made a loss on my first job when you take into account the money I was spending on petrol, parking and lunch everyday, but it gave me the experience I needed!
What did you want to career wise when you were younger?
When I was younger, I always wanted to be a stuntman. I watched the fall guy a lot, a TV series in the 80’s! He was a stun man and a bounty hunter in his spare time, so totally believable! I really loved the films with the crazy car stunts! In my teen years I investigated it , and it turned out you have to be skilled in lots of things, horse riding, parachuting, advanced driving etc. Also, the demand for stuntmen in Northampton is surprisingly low.
What do you think the future of mobility looks like?
I think it will be the end of combustion engines, it will all be electric and hydrogen and goodness knows what else they will figure out. I think transport will be much more on demand and seamless. I think you will be able to book from one place to another via a series of mediums of transport. You will get off the train which will take you to a hoverboard which will take you to a taxi, which will take you to a helicopter, which will take you to a steam train.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the industry right now?
I think because we are facing something completely new, there is no consensus as to the best way forward. Everyone has an idea and its difficult to pick the wheat from the chaff. I saw a website where a company started renting out pogo sticks as a form of transport, which I just can’t see working – but who knows I might be wrong!
When you're not working what are your hobbies and interests?
I like making things! I do a lot of woodwork, making electronic things and a bit of golf! I like a bit of golf; I also am a massive nerd and I love board games!
What is your favourite board game?
Kingdom Death Monster!
If you were stuck on desert island, water and food is provided and could take three things with you what would they be?
I would say I would take my family, I would take a set of golf clubs and then I’d take some tools !