My experiences moving to remote working

Home desk view

Originally posted here

I’ve now been working at home since early March.

My colleagues and I have all adapted to be able to work at home following the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent measures taken by the UK government and other governments around the world. This shift is one that we have all had to come to terms with quickly.

I was able to settle into the new routine well, thanks to an already flexible way of working. In this article, I’d like to go through a few things that I think have helped Codethink colleagues to be able to make a seamless transition from being a company primarily under one roof, to being under many.

Using the right tech

When I first came into the company, I was introduced to our IRC chat system. Being well practiced using this technology has allowed us a growing company to remain connected, both whilst in our offices and on customer sites globally. Productivity has been enhanced through dedicated channels for projects, support channels and avenues for technical discussion. Having the right set up has helped to minimise the impact on our teams. We’ve been able to continue our projects with minimal disruption while the distributed office has taken shape.

An effective video conferencing solution has helped immensely. The distance becomes more obvious when face-to-face contact is removed. In addition to its use for external meetings, we began to see video conferencing integrated more regularly into our internal meetings and although it’s not the same as being in the same room, it helps to retain a friendlier feel to this new way of working.

Diligent Operations

A priority when becoming a distributed workforce was to ensure that project work was able to continue with minimal disruption. Codethink engineers work on difficult projects that are often time-critical. With the major disruption coronavirus has caused, it presented a challenge for our operations team to be able to ensure that staff had everything they needed to be able to work in a secure and productive way at home, from ensuring VPN coverage to allocating equipment to be taken home by staff.

As a result of using remote-friendly technology by default, the Operations team didn’t have as big a spike in work as it could have been. Most of their time was instead spent making sure our day-to-day work could be handled remotely at a larger scale, to ensure that disruption in our work stayed at a minimum.

Having a ticketing system set up using existing infrastructure enabled queries made to the operations team to be handled in a managed, clear and fluent manner. Having already established processes for raising tickets with the Operations team in this way, everyone was able to carry on with no adjustment required.

In the meantime, since we became distributed, Operations have been able to focus on optimising our effectiveness when remote and improving our way of working. We’ve seen updates about improvements to cloud hosting, an option for self-hosted video conferencing as well as security improvements with authentication systems. At Codethink, we use a lot of FOSS software and have been contributing to some of these projects to implement changes upstream.

Management Leadership and Support

I found that management leadership and support was crucial in ensuring calm in a troubling time for all.

Proactive communication on company intentions in regards to working from home and support to ensure that staff were able to use the equipment that they require to effectively carry out their work has been a calming influence on the office and the importance of clarity of communication cannot be understated.

It was apparent that the management team were on top of the changes to come and were able to plan as much as practical. Clear procedures were in place for staff to be able to take office items home and purchase new equipment, so as to ensure workplace continuity as much as possible.

Bringing the office into the home

Like a lot of companies, Codethink has its rituals – one of the most significant for us are Friday talks. This is the time on a Friday afternoon when volunteers will get up in front of the rest of the company to talk about something. It’s also the time where we meet our newest colleagues. The talk can be about themselves, it can be about something technical, or it could be anything else. It’s a time to come together, learn and it gives opportunities to practice public speaking.

It’s an important part of being a staff member at Codethink, and as such, it was important for us to find a way to make sure it could continue in a fully-distributed manner. Along with some of the engineers, I’d tested a few different options, before we settled on hosting our weekly talks through video conferencing. After drawing up some rules to optimise the experience for all, we were able to get the whole company onto the same call and after designating a volunteer as host, we were able to hold our first virtual friday talks. I have to say, it felt fantastic. Especially as, at the time, it was our first large gathering following our move to being distributed.

Wellbeing support

Since I started at Codethink, it’s been pretty obvious that the management team places a lot of importance on the welfare of the staff. In the time since then, I’ve noticed an increasing focus on promoting health and wellbeing. This has encouraged support and engagement across the company, with mental health workshops taking place and several members of Codethink volunteering to take positions as ‘Mental Health First Aiders’, supporting and informing others. Codethink has also recently hired a leader in People Management, enhancing the work on employee wellbeing, founding a company forum initiative and engaging with recognised external accreditors. This has played a key role in facilitating wellbeing support as we’ve become a more distributed workforce. The most recent initiative forms part of the Health and Wellbeing Calendar, focusing in May on National Walking Month. We have set up a steps tracker and have a company mission to virtually walk to some of the conferences we would have normally been going to.

The work done to support and engage Codethink staff in paying attention to health and wellbeing has been useful in our transition to remote work. As someone who hadn’t experienced an extended period of remote work before, I was expecting a number of adjustments I’d have to make.

A particular memory that sticks out was the last whole company Friday talks prior to moving back to work from home. With everyone aware that it would be the last time for a while that we would all be in the room together, a number of people with more experience with remote work shared their experiences and advice for those, like me, who had something to learn. It was a true example of the supportive nature of the people who work at Codethink and the care they place, not only into what they do, but those that they work with.

The challenges behind electric vehicle infrastructure

Originally posted here.

In 2019, electric vehicles accounted for 7.4% of total passenger car registrations in the UK. For an ever-more environmentally conscious population, this presents a very low number. Electric vehicles are often seen as a next step, or even a solution for greener transportation. Indeed, electric vehicles are becoming a more accessible option for an increasing number of consumers, and getting closer to a wider public adoption.

Despite the advances made however, there remain a number of barriers that stop electric vehicles crossing the next threshold and taking a bigger share of our roads. More interestingly, the barriers I’ve found are linked with each other. Here, I’ll be looking at the improvements that are being made to make electric vehicles more accessible and the software behind the infrastructure, and why it is critical to increasing consumer confidence and therefore uptake.

The cost of entry

There’s a pretty simple shorthand to gauge the cost of the battery of an electric vehicle. Take the total cost of the vehicle and halve it.

This cost has been a major hurdle for manufacturers to overcome. The batteries themselves are very expensive to produce. Dyson had been investigating whether they could produce a commercial electric vehicle, but the project was halted, with commercial reasons cited: one of the biggest costs mentioned was the battery. James Dyson stated in his interview that by solving the technical problems around the battery, it would allow for the price of electric cars to be more in line with their petrol counterparts. That stage will be critical for the electric vehicle market. Once price, a big block for the consumer, is removed from the equation, the choice becomes more down to personal taste and style.

Moreover, the electric car could become an increasingly appealing choice as the maintenance costs for running an electric car tend to work out less than the petrol alternative due to fewer moving parts. Of course, a replacement battery would still work out as an expensive fix, but there are measures that can be taken to increase the battery lifespan, such as adopting smarter battery management. Capital One estimates that the average user can expect to save $1500 on the first 150,000 miles on maintenance. This is a good number but ultimately doesn’t go a long way to demonstrating less cost over time compared to petrol alternatives. Maintenance costs aren’t a sole solution.

The issues behind public uptake in electric vehicles don’t stop with the vehicle itself. Ultimately, there are other factors at play that influence the purchase price of the vehicle that are addressed by the supporting infrastructure. These issues act as an important barrier to public adoption. With more electric vehicle users, there is more charging, more revenue for the charging companies and therefore more potential to invest. We’ve seen the improvements to batteries and the potential impact. How can the infrastructure keep in line?

The chargers

Electric Vehicle Chargers

There are three main levels of electric vehicle charger that I am focusing on here.

  • Level 1

This type of charger (actually Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment – EVSE), is the type of charging point commonly installed at homes as an entry level solution and typically takes the longest time to charge. You’d expect to be charging your vehicle overnight at home with this type of charger at the end of the day. If you’re charging an empty tank, however, this type of charger could take as long as a day to recover a 124 mile range.

  • Level 2

This type of charging equipment will become more useful for consumers who cover larger distances in their vehicle each day. While some consumers upgrade their home EVSE to a level 2 EVSE, these are most commonly found in public spaces like private car parks. These can be around 4 times faster to charge, recovering a 124 mile range in around 5 hours.

  • Level 3

These chargers are your rapid chargers; significantly faster to charge your vehicle than a level 2 charger. Like the level 2, they can be found on motorways, as well as in a number of other commonly accessible places such as hotel car parks. These are presented as a faster alternative to the level 2 charger and are most used by motorists during a break in a journey, to recharge without having to wait for too long. However, the premium product demands the highest price. This can be linked to a combination of surge-pricing for electricity being higher, greater equipment cost and maintenance investment, or simply the driver paying for the convenience of the charger.

Where do we go from here?

In January 2020, an article released on referred to chargers as “The final roadblock to America’s electric car future”. It doesn’t take long looking into it to see why. Problems cited include speed and cost of charging as well as the number and proximity of time efficient charging points.

A major issue for consumers with a desire to purchase electric vehicles is being able to charge at home in the first place. Without off street parking, level 1 charging would have to be done by running a cable from the house to the street. If parking in front of the house isn’t practical, this solution isn’t ideal. It also, more importantly, isn’t safe.

Aside from charging at home, the time required at charging stations is significantly higher than compared to time spent at petrol stations. On longer journeys, this means that stops need to be carefully planned in order to minimise charge time – a clear difference with the journey taken in a petrol vehicle. This requirement for careful management contradicts the idea that the car should provide the freedom to travel anywhere with ease. Although electric vehicles don’t all have a short range, you can expect that there is a large cost associated with the larger range, a symptom of the battery problem. As high performance batteries become less expensive to produce, the more affordable consumer cars will see an increase in range.

Out of 31,000 UK charging connectors listed on Zap Map, 25% are reported to be in greater London, roughly double the number in Scotland. The market is demonstrably expanding, the number of charging stations seeing its biggest increase to date between 2018-2019; but this brings questions.

Charging stations are increasingly using smart technology: contactless payment systems are effectively mandatory, in the UK and Europe, as of late 2018 and so are becoming more common. With more complex systems, there is more risk and increased threats to that system. More people will ask if the software can be trusted. With a greater number of chargers, questions also arise about repair and recovery, both for hardware and software. How are repairs managed to ensure minimal outage and in a worst case WannaCry esque attack, can systems be recovered at scale?

More and more emphasis will be placed on the quality of software behind the device. This all adds up to an issue; more infrastructure, more advanced and security conscious technology. How is it all affordable?

The expense of software

The answers may lie in approaching the technology more openly.

Open Source technologies provide an immediate solution to cutting engineering time costs and licensing fees. One brand of DC rapid charger already appears to be using Linux out of the box. An immediate benefit from using Linux over a proprietary alternative is that the cadence of updates often occurs at a faster rate due to the large number of distributed contributors working on it. This allows the technology to be able to respond more quickly to security concerns, providing patches at a faster rate. Despite the benefits listed, it’s critical that new software is integrated properly to ensure minimal disruption for consumers. If you go down an Open Source route, having experts on board is highly recommended to navigate the challenges that moving into Open Source can bring. Companies may choose to create an internal Open Source office to drive progress, or look to outsource the work to third parties.

If you search for ‘electric vehicles’ on GitHub, you get a taste of the types of technologies being worked on in public, all of which can be used as a base to work from. An Open Source EVSE product is already on the market.

A lot of the questions that have been posed in this article have likely already been answered. The trick is being able to identify the correct answer through the wrong ones. Taking these existing answers, building on them and integrating, although potentially less work, isn’t so easy. This is why having the expert advice from the start is key, to make sure that you get it right.

Sharing technical knowledge at Codethink

Originally posted here

Codethink’s culture stems from the world of open source software. A large part of what it means to be a Codething is taking part in the sharing of knowledge across the company and learning on a daily basis. This practice drives the development of understanding in different areas of software, programming and allows staff to generally learn as a collective.

One way knowledge is shared around Codethink is through peer-led classes. Recently Daniel, a solutions architect at Codethink, has organised and led a series of classes for other Codethink engineers around Rust.

Rust is a relatively new programming language (Rust 1.0 was released in 2015) but one that is increasingly popular, achieving status as ‘most loved programming language’ in Stack Overflow’s developer survey each year since 2016. Rust boasts a very friendly, and growing community, reliably releasing regular updates, making it an attractive option for developers looking for a project to contribute to.

Rust has been turning heads as a modern alternative to some of the more traditional programming languages. As a memory-safe language, Rust is designed with security in mind — it’s protection against memory corruption vulnerabilities has prompted security engineers to explore its applicability. Focus is increasingly placed on software security in the automotive industry and recent research has pointed at memory safety as a critical problem which needs addressing. This points to Rust as a potential solution and makes it a very relevant language for Codethink engineers, who work on automotive projects frequently.

“It’s *possible* to write good safe clean code in any language but some, such as Rust, make it easier to *not write* bad code in certain senses.” – Daniel Silverstone

Daniel’s Rust course was set up with the ultimate objective that attendees should become comfortable writing code in the language and for the whole group to agree that classes are no longer required. By setting the overall course objective with the group in mind instead of the individual, an environment of collaboration is fostered, where attendees are encouraged to help each other reach a common goal. This is a positive attitude to encourage and one that ultimately benefits a company in their day to day activities.

The schedule for the Rust course was set up with attendees’ work schedules in mind. Daniel delivers 1 hour of lecture style class each week which is recorded for future reference, and attendees agree to a matched amount of signposted, but self-directed, learning. Homework is also set for attendees in the form of programming problems, for which the lecture will be needed in addition to the self-directed learning. Although the course is set to be able to work around attendee schedules and company work comes first, a certain level of commitment to learning is required, which is made clear from the start.

The feedback of the course was positive, the engineers in Codethink share a passion for learning and improving in what they do and the opportunity to take part in Daniel’s Rust course proved popular. As a result of the high interest, the course will be run for a second time with another, larger group of engineers attending. Daniel enjoyed being able to teach other enthusiastic engineers about something he’s interested in and encourage discussion on the topic.

The sharing of knowledge in a company like Codethink is important and allows for technical competencies to develop at a faster rate than normal. This is because staff have more forums to connect on an intellectual level outside of project requirements. For a company where learning is an important part of day to day life, this format proved to be very successful.

“A day without learning is a day wasted. Codethink engineers thrive on learning. Spreading knowledge and skills allows people to improve in all they do.” – Daniel Silverstone

For a company where learning is an important part of day to day life, this format proved to be very successful and allows us to grow our understanding in new technology areas. By doing this we become able to confidently engage with the challenges that those new technologies may bring.

Codethink helps York Instruments to deliver world-beating medical brain-scanner

Originally posted here.

Codethink partnered with York Instruments on a project to develop a new Magnetoencephalogram (MEG) scanner to replace their existing apparatus. This is a neuroimaging device which maps brain activity by recording magnetic fields which are produced by naturally occurring electrical currents in the brain.

The problem at the time was that the capture-and-compute brain of the original scanner was difficult to repair or replace if there was a failure. This was due to the unavailability of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), resulting in a lack of available parts.

Within the main apparatus of an MEG, superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs), are used to measure very subtle changes in magnetic fields influenced by brain activity. These SQUIDs require super-cooling, commonly with liquid helium, which means that the apparatus to store them needs to be substantial. Liquid helium is also very dangerous to humans so a high level of due diligence is required for the safety of anyone interacting with the scanner. In their new MEG system, York Instruments replaced the SQUIDs used with Hybrid Quantum Interference Devices (HyQUIDs), which are able to operate at higher temperatures than SQUIDs and can operate more accurately. This has positive implications for the safety and cost of the MEG, as less coolant is required.

In this project, Codethink worked on both hardware and software, in a range of different areas including upgrading the Linux kernel used, assisting with updating U-boot, working on the in FPGA and CPLD firmware, working on the core data transfer protocols, the sample data multiplexer, and real-time-displays as well as further software assistance and consulting.

Codethink engineers worked on the full low-level command and control system for synchronising and monitoring a distributed network of data capturing systems. Throughout our time working with York Instruments, Codethink engineers ensured a high standard of code and documentation was maintained.

The development of York Instrument’s main data acquisition pipeline and a variety of GUIs was done in tandem with the hardware design in order to closely integrate the two. One of the most challenging aspects of the work involved developing a system that ensures hundreds of sensors, that were all connected to different computers, actually took measurements within microseconds of each other. Engineers managed this by means of a pair of counter rotating, fibre-optic loops, with a precise calibration algorithm.

The sensors send thousands of samples of data per second over the network to a single system. This system is required to rapidly match up each incoming sample so that all sample numbers are grouped together. Due to the volume of data that the system is required to match together and the minimal amount of time available to do it in, the multiplexer needs to be very efficient. Once the data has been gathered and grouped, it saves samples to HDF5 format and also multicasts to a LAN for real-time data consumers to present or process captured data in real time.

“The real time display we wrote implemented a noise cancellation system. The sizes of the magnetic field fluctuations caused by brain activity is tiny compared to electromagnetic noise created by external sources, such as a passing car. The noise cancellation system worked by having some extra sensors in the magnetically shielded room which were far enough from the head of the patient that they would not pick up the brain activity, only the noise. And then the readings for these were used with the some weightings to subtract the noise from the sensors around the brain.” – Michael Drake

Codethink’s engineers enjoyed working on a medical product, contributing to something that would, in turn, help others.

A horror film that made me think

I recently saw IT: Chapter 2.

It was scary.

But as the title to this blog post suggests, the jump scares weren’t the main thing I took away from the film.

I write this as a reminder to myself, and this may be a ramble, but the intent is that it will provoke positive thought.

The film looks at a group of childhood friends reuniting after 27 years apart and losing touch. They’d grown distant from each other. A childhood promise brings them back together and when they meet again, old friendships resurface.

After the main action of the film ends, two of the characters check in on each other, their bond renewed. They tell each other ‘I love you’. Not knowing when they might be able to see each other again, they let each other know that they are appreciated. That moment resonated with me and it made me reminisce.

During University, we form tight-nit bonds with our peers. We spend three years getting to know our friends and we become very close. The tragedy is that most often, we move apart once University ends and we have to get used to not seeing each other like we’re used to. Nowadays, whilst we are in the age of social media, it’s easier for those bonds to survive, but they are still prone to collapse.

I got thinking about how important it is to cherish what you have while you have it. At some point we all have to say goodbye and it’s important to let the people you choose to spend your time with know how much it means to you. Time is the most valuable resource we have and one that we won’t get back. It’s nice to be told that you’ve spent it well.

What you DON’T need to get a software job

During my time working in the software industry over the last 18 months, I have noticed that there seem to be a large number of people sharing a similar view. That is that in order to get a job in the industry, you need to be a standout computer science graduate, having achieved top marks in every exam from your introduction to the education system.

Okay, perhaps a slight exaggeration, but you get what I mean?

I’m writing this for anyone who has been told something like that and now feel that the software industry isn’t for them. I’m going to review the industry today at a high level

If you’re passionate about it and you’re driven enough to make yourself succeed, this industry is for you. I’m going to tell you why you don’t need a top computer science degree to get a job in software.

What employers looked for ten years ago isn’t what employers are looking for now.

There is currently a war for talent within the technology industry in the UK. A lot of companies are looking to hire but there are more jobs available than there are people who can fill them. As a result of this, the industry needs to become more accessible and work is under way to make that a reality.

Each year, Stack Overflow conduct their Annual Developer Survey. They collect data from their users on topics such as favourite programming languages and education history to identify trends from tens of thousands of responses.

Of all professional developers to respond, 79% have a degree, 63% of which studied computer science, computer engineering or software engineering. However, with this number not satisfying demand, it seems to be that in order to meet the requirement for talented technology professionals, value needs to be sought aside from the traditional degree route.

More employers nowadays are growing more interested in candidates who aren’t just demonstrating good marks in tests but are capable staff members in a number of other ways too.

Academic achievement is one thing but a strong work ethic, empathy and problem solving, is another thing entirely. Those qualities in an individual need to come from within. That’s why employers like to see graduates that show these capabilities already as it’s likely to have a positive influence on their retention numbers.

One particular trait that is highly desirable for employers is the ability to self-learn. If you can teach yourself something, especially if it’s something relevant like a programming language, then that will look great in any job application you make.

A question for the future will be whether these skills and traits will become more valuable than the traditional undergraduate degree.

Software employers have generally become increasingly open to applicants with backgrounds in other subjects as well. People from degrees in alternative subjects such as physics and maths make for great software engineers. I’ve known of successful coders that studied philosophy at University.

The way you get the job if you’ve not studied computer science, is to show a passion for software, to show where you’ve been coding in your degree, and make your intelligence come across in your application. To really sure your application up however, you’ll want to be coding in your spare time. Share your GitHub, even if it’s not perfect. You need to show them that you’re one of them. It just might take that bit extra work.

It makes sense that employers would look outside of the traditional computer science degree. After all, people who have studied different degrees think in different ways and a result, will approach problems differently. Diversity of thought is something a workplace should aspire towards.

Degree apprenticeships are a more recent development and are offered by some universities. They combine part time study in University with work at an employer, the idea being that you study and work at the same time which would end up with a job with the employer after the course, all being well. As degree apprenticeships are relatively new, they haven’t been taken up in every university. As such, available places are limited but they are expected to increase in number.

But what if you don’t have a degree?

In the past few years there has been a growing interest in alternatives to going to University. Traditionally, gaining a degree has been the route to a career but with a university level tuition becoming more and more expensive, it has become less of a practical option for a growing number of people.

When there’s a lack of skills, this creates a need for other routes to employment to emerge. After all, a degree isn’t the only signifier of intelligence.

Coding schools are another option increasingly in popularity in recent years. Northcoders is an example of one of these schools. The benefits of working with organisations like this are that they have direct links to employers, meaning that getting a job can be easier. However, convenience comes at a cost – education is expensive nowadays. They attract the employers by putting the costs onto the attendees. From everything I heard it’s worthwhile if you can do it but it might not be an option for a lot of people.

There is a way for you to gain experience working with other developers, develop your understanding of software practices and further practise your programming skills:

Open Source.

Getting involved with open source and contributing to projects is a great way to develop your programming understanding. Working with developers more experienced than you and having the opportunity for their insight on your code will allow you to progress well.

For more advice on getting started, see the resources below:

Getting into open source

How to Git Going in FOSS

5 reasons you should re-do your first software CV

As of writing, I’ve spent the last 18 months of my life mainly looking over CVs.

I’ve found that a lot of CV’s don’t earn an interview for a very simple reason:

There isn’t enough time spent on them.

Okay, this isn’t very helpful so I’ll break down my thoughts…

  1. You haven’t elaborated on your skillset

If your skills section looks like this, you need to elaborate:

Programming languages: C, C++, Java, SQL, FORTRAN, Haskell, Python, Matlab.

Instead, create a section for projects that you’ve done, tell me what the project was, what you did, and the technology that you used to do it. This will look a lot more structured and is therefore easier to digest.
(Brownie points if you include a link to your work)
(If you were working in a team at a hackathon, you should be specific about the role you played)

Also, despite common advice from educational institutions, there’s no general rule on CV length.

You shouldn’t sacrifice important information to fit the traditionally accepted one/two page criteria

2. I can’t tell what you want

The recruitment process is two way thing.

I state what I want to see in an applicant on a job advert.

When replying to the job advert, I need to know that it’s what you want.

In essence, I need to be able to see the match there.

If I can see that you’ve demonstrated your interest in the job and your passion for the field you want to go in to, I’m more likely to think you’re going to stay in the job longer. If that’s the case, you’re doing well.

By articulating your passion, interest and drive to succeed in your field, you’re creating positive signs for the company you’re applying to.

3. It doesn’t stand out from the crowd

This is important for graduates.

You need to think about what each CV will look like that goes forward for a job.

As most graduates receive similar briefings on producing a CV, from my experience, a lot of the resulting applications tend to look the same.

If you’ve done the same course, with the same modules as someone else and both are formatted it in LaTeX over one page, they’re going to look very similar.

If your CV looks the same as all of the others, it’s more difficult for it to stand out.

In the case of the example, where the majority produce a one page CV, make yours two and include a cover letter. If you decide not to format your CV using LaTeX, use it for your cover letter instead and you’re not losing out.

4. You’ve not tailored your CV to the job you’re applying for

A commonly distributed tip for writing a CV is to include in your professional profile section that you’d specifically like to apply for a job at the company you’re applying to.

If you don’t change that between applications though, it doesn’t look great.

If you send the same CV out to every company that you apply for, it’s likely that you’ll get fewer responses.

Be sure to analyse the detail of what each company is looking for, and emphasise your strengths accordingly.

E.g. If there’s a good chance you’ll be customer facing, emphasise any team activities, or other things where you can point out a need for good communication skills.

Focus on sending fewer CVs, but investing more time into each application.

5. You haven’t come across in the right way

Your CV is you on paper. It’s a representation of you going through the education system, into the world of work and it will be the basis on which you are judged in the application process.

It’s important to make sure that you have a professional email. It should scream the word “Adult”.

You need to spell and grammar check everything. If you’re going to be working in software you will need attention to detail in your work and avoidable spelling mistakes can look lazy.

Getting your CV right is crucial in landing your first role. Once you’ve overcome your interviews and you start on day one, the journey really begins.

If you enjoyed this post, here’s some more below!


f/2.8, 24mm, ISO 500, 1/500sec

November 2018

Gear: Nikon D750, Tamron 24-70 2.8

There is an abundance of dishonesty in Paris. 

You seem to never be far away from someone attempting to scam you in some way. The only thing you can do about this is to look the least like a target possible. A DSLR is quite counter-productive here.

I decided to focus my attention for my photographs on the architecture of Paris. The design of buildings was something that stood out to me, from the apartments to the tower. I wanted to capture as much as I could. 

The difficulty that I found with this task was that some of the buildings, notably the Eiffel Tower, have been photographed so often that to differentiate my images from others would take more effort.

I wanted to focus , taken on the last day during a period of showers on top of an open top tour bus. Due to this, I had one opportunity to line up the shot I wanted. Being on top of the bus, I benefitted from the additional height which helped me frame the subject more effectively.

I decided on to try and make the image feel aged to reflect the subject. This was the reason for using the black and white grainy effect. I feel that image ultimately suited the weather conditions of the day.