Engineering and Product
Aaron Parker, Engineering Team Lead at AskNicely
Taking pleasure in crashing computers from the age of six so that he could try and fix them, was a fairly strong indication that Aaron Parker, Engineering Team Lead at AskNicely was destined to work in tech.
We caught up with Aaron to learn more about how he went from a happy customer of AskNicely to employee and how he has quickly risen through the ranks. Aaron shares some deeper insight into why he loves working in the industry and shares some advice for others considering tech as a career path. Thanks for sharing your story, Aaron.
“Specialties within tech can be as many and varied as there are flavours of ice cream.”
What are some of the common misconceptions about working in tech?
I think it’s a much broader concept than people might realise. Some knowledge in tech can be a building block for a job in almost any industry. Specialties within tech can be as many and varied as there are flavours of ice cream.
Was working in tech something you dreamed about doing as a kid, if not what was?
Absolutely it was! I remember crashing my classroom computer when I was six.
Though the teacher probably wasn’t impressed, I was thrilled because it meant I could then try to fix it. Breaking and then trying to fix things is how I’ve always learned, in more depth, and faster. Much to the detriment of a lot of my childhood toys.
“I was always intrigued by its simplicity and effectiveness.”
Tell us a little bit more about your career journey and ultimately about how you ended up working at AskNicely?
At my previous job we were already using AskNicely to improve our services. I was always intrigued by its simplicity and effectiveness. At that stage I was looking for a new challenge, and when I saw the job posting for an engineering role I jumped on it.
Being a part of a company at the early stages means getting to play a role in shaping the culture in a more impactful way, and that definitely excited me too. When I joined, the company only had about four engineers in total.
In three years I have progressed from Engineer, to Senior Engineer, to Engineering Team Lead. The feedback and coaching I get from my colleagues has definitely helped to get me to this point so quickly.
Do you have any advice for people considering tech as a career path and how they might get there quicker?
This advice applies to any stage of a career I would say, you have to talk to people, learn from others, network, this industry has a bubbling culture of community.
You’ll always find people willing to help, to teach you something new, and to guide you. Catch opportunities whenever they appear.
“..when you find yourself in a good situation it’s often because you've put in the hard work..”
What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
When I was 21, I received some life advice from the father of a good friend of mine. He pointed out to me that when you find yourself in a good situation it’s often because you’ve put in the hard work, and made the right choices along the way.
Maybe that’s not exactly what he said, but what I took from it was that I should always be preparing for the next opportunity. I believe that this has helped me to get to where I am today.
What is it specifically that you like about working AskNicely?
At AskNicely, I feel like we are working at the leading edge, in many aspects. Doing things for the first time.
It is really exciting to be solving problems that not very many people have even tried to solve before. When we break things (not very often), we learn and we move on. Being surrounded by a bunch of super-creative people and getting it right is pretty thrilling.
Lastly, AskNicely continues to grow and evolve. What kind of candidates do you think AskNicely is looking for in terms of experience, attitude and character?
Bring your experience, and share it. I think candidates who gel with our values will definitely go far. Oh, and nice, of course!