Monday, August 08, 2011

Grandson Archie on University of Edinburgh Informatics Alumni Newsletter

Informatics Alumni Newsletter -- July 2011

Alumnus Profile: Archie Binnie

BEng Software Engineering 2006,

Manager, Newer Versions, Amazon Development Centre Scotland

How did you get from your degree in Edinburgh to your current position?

In my final year I attended a presentation given by the Managing Director of Amazon Development Centre Scotland and I thought it sounded like a really interesting place - a small development centre within a large corporation. I applied and happily got a job as a Software Development Engineer. Since then I've done everything from working on low-level performance critical code, launching new features and websites, to more recently managing a team of very talented engineers.

What is a typical day in your current job?

I cycle from my flat on the Meadows to the development centre at Waverley Gate, next to the train station. I catch up on email and news but after that my day varies massively depending on what my team is working on, though we always have a team stand-up in the morning. It is definitely a place where you actually get to write code and build cool stuff and that has always appealed more than working in finance or for a consultancy firm.

What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?

I think my greatest career achievement so far is working in a fun environment on interesting technology and getting well paid for it. I've written code that powers features seen by millions of people on Amazon websites, which is pretty cool. Amazon as a company is doing well and I'm really excited about being a part of that.

Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for your fellow Informatics alumni & students?

If you like Informatics and solving hard problems find a job where you get to think and code daily. Work with and learn from smarter people than yourself.

What is your favourite memory from your time at Edinburgh?

Yoga at the chaplaincy over lunch followed by afternoon lectures in Appleton Tower. Also, sleeping in.

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