Introducing the people behind the scenes at DPS, the company bringing you the Disability Support Guide and Talking Disability, to help you get to know us a little better and give insight into what we do. Next up in our Q&A series is our Senior Developer, Adam Lehmann.
How long have you been with DPS?
I’m fairly new to DPS, I’ve been here almost nine months now.
What is your role?
My role is Senior Developer. That means I’m mainly responsible for looking after the code that drives the website as well as the digital side of the company and what it offers. This includes the front and back end of the website. This also means helping some of the Junior Developers progress and build their skills.
What does your day-to-day look like?
At the moment I’m working on a system for our current clients who advertise with us. This project aims to help them manage their advertising subscriptions tiers. This will allow clients to manage all their advertising requirements for our print and online resources themselves, without the involvement of the sales team. It will create more flexibility for clients because they'll be able to manage the whole process. It automates a process that’s very much manual at this stage. This system is pretty much the main thing I’ve been working on since I started working here.
We pushed it out a few months ago but are still fixing it up and adding to it. Sales are getting ready for a few companies to test it. Moving forward, that's going to be the de facto way for clients to join and switch between plans. So I’ve been coding for that project and getting feedback on demos with staff to run through the system to help them understand how it all works and so they can help clients with any questions.
When people ask you for help, what do they typically come to you for?
I often have a few odd jobs to fix bugs and different things and also help out other team members with day-to-day problems they’ve got in regards to coding. Usually it's simple things like ‘how do I do this?’, or trying to find a more elegant solution to something that’s been proposed. The IT team also picks my brain to get some knowledge on how I might do things.
What have you learnt in your role here at DPS?
I would have to say the biggest thing I’ve gained is industry knowledge. I’m working in a totally different industry to what I’ve worked in the past and I hadn’t had experience in the aged care and disability sector before. It’s important though as it’s something I’ll start getting more experience in as my own parents get older and we have to start looking at aged care facilities and that sort of thing.
I have enjoyed getting my head around the systems used here at DPS and finding ways to run the websites more efficiently for clients as well as staff. It’s quite a big codebase that has a lot of unique challenges and it’s always fun being able to solve those complex problems and being able to fix and improve the business’ offering.
Why did you join DPS?
Aaron (DPS’ Lead Developer) played a big part in me starting with DPS. I had worked with him previously in a fairly small team and after he started at DPS he was keen to get me on board to help and build on what they had established here.
Aaron and I worked very closely together in our previous jobs so it made it easier coming across, as he was able to tell me a lot about the company, the problems they wanted to solve and what my role would be and made it easier to make that move. It was also a great opportunity for me. Obviously it was a bit of career progression and new challenges came with it, but I have really enjoyed the move here.
Let’s help readers get to know you outside of work. What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
I’m going to have to say anything programming related. Whether that be a beginner class to development, basically anything development or web-related, that could also involve building a website from scratch or something like that. They’re probably the go-to ones that I could easily spend 40 minutes on. Most of them are probably technical related things as like most developers I do a fair bit of programming outside of work too.
What else do you do outside of DPS that people might not know so much about?
I’ve got a young family so there’s not so much time to do things outside of work. Not a lot of time to sleep either. I’m into sports and anything technology related or coding related.
I also play around with electronics and stuff in my spare time. There’s these open source hardware systems called Arduinos. Basically, you can program and buy bits for them and make simple electronic bits and bobs – they’re interactive electronic objects. I first got into it when my son was born and wanted to flick switches and turn knobs so I thought I could build him a little box with 20 switches and plugs on it so he’s not turning all the lights and dishwasher on and off again all the time.