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Making the smartphone app smarter

Liz Wilson photo

Liz Wilson

Lead Mobile Developer, Hullavington, UK

Meet an iOS developer for the Dyson Link app.

I joined Dyson in 2017, as a Mobile Developer, I work on developing the iOS side of the Dyson Link app, in a team that specifically focuses on supporting Dyson’s robot vacuum cleaner.

We’re a small team of Android, iOS and QA engineers, based in Hullavington, UK. We work in conjunction with a wider set of app teams who each focus on a different category or a different area of the Dyson Link app.

I had a slightly meandering path into iOS development. Having initially studied Astrophysics and deciding it wasn’t the career path I wanted to follow, I ended up in a programming job for minicab insurance. I decided that was the career for me, but not the subject matter, so I moved to console game development. An opportunity came up to move into app development and that’s where my focus has been ever since.

Dyson products have always been a benchmark of quality. I grew up down the road from Dyson’s Malmesbury campus and Dyson was always the must-have tech at home. Being able to get involved in their development and taking them to the next level with connectivity was very appealing when the opportunity came up. The company itself has a good ethos in terms of diversity, sustainability and a community feel, which really appealed to me too.

I joined without previous experience of Swift – the language we use in the Dyson Link iOS app - so I’ve had a steep learning curve. Through collaboration, support and time put aside for personal development, I’ve been able to learn a lot about the language and have progressed to a more senior role in the process.

App development is fast paced and rewarding. Working on connected products has the benefit of seeing real-world improvements from the work you’re doing. Apps are accessible to a huge audience so it’s constantly relevant and always driving forward and evolving.

Dyson encourages and supports flexible working hours. I like to start quite early, so my first task most days is getting coffee from the café on campus! After that, I take some time to catch up with anything that has come in since clocking off the previous day. We have app teams in Singapore and the UK so there’s always changes ongoing while you’re offline. We peer-review our code changes.

We have a daily stand-up meeting within our team to catch up with where we are with our current work and if anyone needs any help to progress their work or resolve anything blocking them. The rest of the day is a mixture of development work and meetings. Often, we’ll pair up on development work. Our process is very collaborative, so the day tends to go fast.

My app development knowledge has improved greatly since joining Dyson. I've also learned a lot about best practices in terms of writing robust, tested code and planning from the architectural level down to the fine details. It’s also the most collaborative role I have worked in, so I've learned a lot about working together effectively as a team.

A defining moment for me was when a change of team members resulted in me being in a position to take on more responsibility for my area. This was a great opportunity to expand my horizons and step up to the plate.

By the nature of what Dyson is as a business, there’s a clear need to keep new technology secret, so when you’re working with a new product at the development stage that’s not yet been announced, it’s very important to keep it to yourself.

I love the fact that our work has a real positive impact on people’s lives. Being able to work on connected products that make someone’s life that little bit easier is very rewarding. We’re always looking at ways we can deliver value to the users and not afraid to challenge when something doesn’t seem right.

My team are a great bunch. Everyone is fully supportive of each other and not afraid to jump in and help wherever needed. There’s a focus on diversity and inclusion across the company as a whole and it fosters a very positive working environment where you’re not afraid to be yourself.

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