Hi, my name is Michael Chan, and I am an iOS Developer at Tapadoo. I am originally from Waterford, and I now live in Dublin after carrying out my 3rd year internship there. I always had an interest in Maths in school, and I chose to study Computer Science in College. However, I was not really sure what I wanted to specialise in. It was only when I started my internship that I got a sense of what I wanted to do. I was originally hired as a Software Developer Intern for my work placement at a company called Ammeon, and I carried out many different tasks. These tasks primarily were associated with Android. They included writing Android test cases for existing projects and researching new system tools for the platform in order to help automate the building of projects.

The lead developer for an iOS project on my team was going away on holidays for a month, and his replacement was not due to start for another week or so. My project manager assigned me the task of taking over the project for the time being. This was obviously a daunting task at the time, since I had no previous experience with iOS development. I had a week to do iOS tutorials non-stop to try and get a grasp of the platform, the coding syntax, and other essential information. Starting off I got assigned some trivial bug fixes, such as text changes, and, as I became more familiar with the project, I began to tackle feature implementation. It is a scary feeling being thrown into the deep end of something that you are not accustomed to, but that is where you learn the most – not only technically, but also about yourself.

Michael on his Football team, bottom row, first from the left

Recently my attention has been mainly focused on learning how to play the piano. I try to play every day if I can, even if it is only for 10-15 minutes to keep my skills sharp. I always had a hankering to play an instrument; I just never knew which one to pick. During the summer of 2016, I was nursing an injury and was given a recovery period of 8 weeks. I felt the need to do something with the extra time I had, so I looked into learning something new. I had first considered playing the guitar, as my parents had one lying around in hopes that either my brother or my sister would take up the instrument. Unfortunately, none of us did. At the start of 2017, I watched the movie La La Land in which one of the main characters happens to play the piano. I liked the story and the music in the film, and I thought why not give it a try!

Growing up I had always played sports, and only sports. It was all I knew, and I did not really have much exposure to anything else. Of course I was aware that there was more to life then just sports, but when you are very into a particular sport it is hard to see past anything else. It was only when I got to the college that my priorities in life started to change. Studies began to take over, as well as some injuries, and I could no longer commit to playing team sports as much as I would have liked. I started looking into something that I could carry out in my own time and did not need others to be involved. At first it was golf, which I still play from time to time. Now of course, it is Piano.

Piano is definitely something new for me, which I like. It gives me a new perspective on a world that I previously had never considered. I have also set myself goals to work towards, which I like doing. Perhaps this comes from my youth and from working hard over an entire season to reap the rewards further down the line. I plan on starting with the piano grades and taking it from there, but being able to play songs that I like is a great appeal too!

I believe having a creative release like learning an instrument, or playing on a sports team, can absolutely help you in your day-to-day life. We often get caught up in our work life, and it can become quite hectic at times, so it is always good to have something you like to do to relieve any stress.

Having both tech and personal hobbies are something that you can always improve on and never really perfect. No two projects are ever the same, just like no two pieces of music are ever the same. For each project or piece you complete, you learn something new that can be used in the future.

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