28 June 2018

Employee Spotlight: Rob Armitage, Software Architect

People are an essential element of the recipe that make up the secret to Celaton’s success. Celaton is passionate about the individuals who drive the enthusiasm, knowledge and attitudes which have helped to develop and deliver our innovative Machine Learning software to customers around the world. Celaton’s employees embody Celaton's mission and vision to be innovative and customer service driven and without them, the company certainly wouldn’t be where it is today!

rob armitageOne of these individuals is Software Architect Rob Armitage, who has been fundamental in Celaton’s journey. Rob has been with Celaton since it was founded in 2004 and has not only contributed his extensive knowledge and skills to the development of the inSTREAM platform but also had a significant influence over the organisation as a whole with his calm, reassuring and positive attitude.

We sat down with Rob to find out more about what makes him tick.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
It’s the desire to get things done. I do feel lucky to be alive with a family and a job I love, and knowing that I am judged on my achievements is what gives me the motivation to get going.

What is your biggest professional achievement to date?
I think that would be the creation of inSTREAM’s Key Data Extraction software. This was Celaton’s first machine learning project and there was a lot of trust involved as it required me to be taken off normal development tasks for several months. It has been the cornerstone of many customer workflows for several years now and that’s hugely satisfying.

What is the most challenging part of your role?
The relentless progress of the software industry results in an almost constant change to operating systems, languages and available libraries. You’ve only just got to grips with one technology when you find it’s been superseded by something better. You need to be a good learner. Security is a growing challenge too – the more businesses rely on our software, the more we need to protect our customer’s data by avoiding any vulnerabilities.

What do you most enjoy about your role?
Coming up with the goods! I always try my hardest to produce top-quality software within the agreed timescales that satisfies the requirements, and over the years I believe I have gained trust that I can be relied on when a project is critical. Seeing the software that I was involved in producing being used in a live business environment gives me a real buzz.

What do you think is going to be the biggest trend in the software development world in the coming years?
Definitely change. In years to come, I’m sure historians will reflect on the astonishing acceleration of computer technology which is happening now, and it’s a privilege to be working in the centre of it right now.

What advice would you give to someone starting a career in software development?
Choose a project that genuinely interests you, use the many online resources to teach yourself what you need to know, use open-source libraries where possible to give yourself a head-start and produce something that you can show to an employer that demonstrates your potential. I started back in 1981, writing & selling machine-code games for a Sinclair ZX81, and that gave me something to show as well as an appetite for something more professional.

dire straitsIf you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
How about Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits? Standing in front of thousands of cheering fans while playing a stunning guitar solo – we can all dream!

What you probably didn’t know about Rob is….
I do have a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. I’m no Mark Knopfler yet, but there’s still time…!