Bob Thomas joined SpeakSee as the Front-End Software Developer in September 2019, he works closely with Rosco Nap and the other members of the technical development team.
What does your role as SpeakSee’s Front-End Developer consist of?
"In my role I work mostly on the development of the SpeakSee application’s design and user experience elements, but I also contribute to the other tasks within the scope of the technical development team. I work closely with Rosco and we are in contact throughout the day to discuss the challenges that we are being presented with and the best ways to navigate them. I also assist in the manufacturing process with a particular focus on the application that will be used for internal testing within the factory."
How did you first learn about SpeakSee and when did you decide to join the team?
"That’s a good question, I graduated in August last year and I was interested in taking a bit of a vacation after completing my studies. One day I opened LinkedIn and saw a message from Marcel. I had never heard about SpeakSee before but after reading his introduction and doing some research on the website myself, I noticed that SpeakSee was making technology for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. I have to say that this type of technology is not really my speciality, but I have some friends who are Deaf and after reading their excitement when I sent the SpeakSee website to them, it made me realise that this was what I wanted to do.
I spoke with Jari and Marcel about what my role would be within the company, and after hearing the stories of how SpeakSee was created, I found it really motivational. Marcel told me about the technical elements of the position, and it was in areas that I am also passionate about. Even though I had initially intended to take a break after my studies, the opportunity to work for a company with a goal that helps people and to help create something that will be beneficial to my friends too was a big motivational factor for me."
What has been your hardest challenge during your time with SpeakSee?
"I think that the hardest challenge for me has been adjusting my skillset to have a greater design focus than what I am used to. Previously I have always worked on building logical things that serve a specific purpose but are not necessarily viewed by the user, but now I am making products that will be part of the user experience and it is something which I have grown to enjoy."
What has been your favourite moment during your time at SpeakSee?
"If I had to choose a favourite moment, I think I would choose my first prototype testing launch with the Rabobank. Getting to see the application that I have built being downloaded and tested by people was really cool. In my previous jobs I built products that were mostly for business owners and I never had the opportunity to speak to them or see them use it, so for me this was a special experience. To be able to interact with people who will be using your product is extremely motivating because you know that the work you are doing will affect someone else’s life in a positive way.
I have also really enjoyed the social times that I have spent with the other members of the SpeakSee team, there is certainly a close bond between all of us and I think that this is reflected in the way that we work together and the results that we are in the process of producing."