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From idea to reality

Matthew Hazley photo


Associate Principal Engineer, Bristol, UK

Turning research into real-world machines at Dyson’s Bristol office.

I started at Dyson in September 2016 as an Advanced Embedded Software Engineer in the Robotics team in Malmesbury, before transferring to the Bristol-based Software team in 2017.

I primarily work as a senior engineer in the scrum team, but I recently had the opportunity to explore de-facto line management with our junior engineers and Dyson Institute students. The position allows me to be a technical lead on projects while also getting into the nuts and bolts of the issues at hand. The role is very varied; I could be designing an architecture for a prototype, writing code, meeting with engineers, presenting to stakeholders, or researching a new technology.

My team is effectively one of Dyson's main prototyping wings – we take product ideas and technology applications from the company's research division and begin to turn these ideas into reality. This entails de-risking technologies, developing system architectures, and prototyping aspects of products so that we can test them and determine how new technologies can be introduced. The team is loosely divided into mobile app, cloud, and embedded engineers, so we tend to focus on full stack, connected prototypes because we can work across the entire ecosystem.

I started working as an embedded software engineer for a large electronics company when I was in my twenties. I then worked for a few IoT start-ups, which led me to Bristol and to Dyson. I saw Dyson as an innovative company that was beginning to transition into delivering more connectivity-focused products, so I saw it as a great opportunity.

As a team, we are involved in the early development process, therefore we can influence how things will turn out as they progress towards becoming a product. I love the fact that we are working on real products that will eventually end up in the hands of owners.

I've always enjoyed quickly prototyping ideas and then moving on to the next thing. My current position is ideal for me because I may be working on 5–10 different, smaller projects in any given year. Some are lengthy and necessitate high levels of robustness and delivery, whereas others are only two to four weeks long and are purely exploratory. We are also encouraged to learn and try out completely new things.

So far, my experience at Dyson has been fantastic. I've been promoted twice and have worked on a wide range of interesting projects, many of which had a significant impact on things that became products. I've met a lot of smart people, made lifelong friends, and was able to join the Bristol office crew from the beginning. Working with and learning from our team is a privilege for me.

I've learned a lot of new technologies, but I've also learned a lot about myself. Taking a step back from problems allows you to see the big picture, be less frustrated, and react less. I believe I've acquired as many soft skills as technical skills.

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