Inside FIXER #1 - Working in a Dynamic and Fast-Growing Global Team

May 10, 2018

Interview Series #1 -- Interview with our Architect and Full-Stack Engineer, Aaron Layfield

When you think about how to get your brand well known in a local marketplace, there are certain necessary steps you should take. When you shift your target toward a global scale, the spectrum of possibilities become wider and the challenges greater, but also the opportunities for growth also increase.

Here at FIXER, we love challenges and after establishing a strong presence in Japan, we are now aiming to target a strategic space in the global market. The backbone of our global strategy is having a talented and international environment. Because sharing our global culture and values is as important as our products and services, we decided to start an employee interview series to let everyone have a look and understand what it is like working at FIXER.

The first person interviewed is Aaron Layfield, one of our most enthusiastic and talented employees, with an incredible passion and dedication in everything he does. He joined FIXER only 5 months ago, but he has already proven his worth and potential. He is currently the key player for a huge project related to our flagship solution, "cloud.config".

Fabrizio: Let's start with the basic question of "Tell me about yourself". It would be fantastic if you can also let us know why you decided to come in Japan.

Aaron: No problem! My name is Aaron, I'm the technical lead / cloud solutions engineer on the GBA team at FIXER. I hail from Cambridge, England and have over 10 years professional experience in the IT field. I have always had a fondness of computer and problem solving, ever since I got my first computer at 8 years old, I've been endlessly gaming, tampering and trying to figure out how computers work.

I've had several positions throughout my years in IT, my first ever opportunity was working for a EDI software house providing low level technical support on numerous EDI based platforms. I worked for this company for 7 years and at this time, I felt I needed a change of scenery and after a short trip to Japan 1 year earlier in Osaka, thought Japan would be a great place to have my sabbatical.

Since my time in Japan, I've worked for several small-medium companies working in software development, cloud engineering and infrastructure architecture. In this time, my Japanese sabbatical has turned into a new home.

Fabrizio: Indeed, Japan is of the best places for a sabbatical. After settling down, how did you join FIXER? Where did you hear about us?

Aaron: I heard of FIXER unexpectedly through a recruitment agent. After reading about FIXER's venture into cloud-based technologies and being a company aimed at fixing problems, I was very eager to hear more.

A lot of what attracted me to FIXER was my hiring process, during the entire ordeal, I felt I was given a lot of opportunities to probe what the company does and how engineers are given the opportunity to have their own ideas and bring them to the table. For someone like me, I felt that with a simple idea, I could take that and turn it into something incredible for the world.

Fabrizio: Such a great ambition! I know that you are doing great things, but please tell us more about your current role and the project you are working on.

Aaron: My current position at FIXER has really given me an opportunity to use all the things I've learnt over the years. I am a cloud solutions architect by title, but I am currently involved in the architecture design and development of the company's flagship solution cloud.config Portal as an Architect/Full-Stack Engineer.

cloud.config Portal provides business users and technical users the opportunity to take control of all their cloud costs and health management of the resources throughout their cloud providers (Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform). This uses a wide variety of modern technologies and frameworks, such as C# .NET Core 2.0, React + Redux with Typescript, AMQP, Continuous Deployment and Integration and container-based deployments in the cloud using modern DevOps practices built with a Microservice based architectural pattern.

Fabrizio: And we are going to present our first release in Las Vegas at the Microsoft Inspire conference in July. Correct?

Aaron: Yes, we'll have an MVP demo available to play with at a booth during the event! Microsoft Inspire is the company's worldwide partner conference and biggest Microsoft event. Because we are targeting the global market with our new version of cloud.config, it will be a great opportunity for us to showcase our product to partners and industry experts from around the globe.

Fabrizio: Excited to see the outcome. Apart from the technical and business side of work, what is your impression about our environment and culture?

Aaron: When I work at FIXER, I come every day feeling motivated and energized to work hard. The environment and people I'm surrounded by really make me feel welcomed, open and an important member of the organization.

The people around me are all talented individuals always prepared to help me work through any issue, or potential problems I find in the design of the product I am designing. There are people from all corners of the globe, making me feel like a great part of the diverse nature of the organization.

The only real challenge I find, comes from my own shortcomings of the Japanese language. Despite this, many members still find the time to work through things with me through broken Japanese and English.

Fabrizio: I perfectly understand that kind of situation. Ok, last question! Thinking about the future, how do you see FIXER fitting in with your long-term career goals?

Aaron: I believe FIXER will be a long term stay for me personally as the company endorses opportunity to work on a diverse range of technologies and products in various different industries, from Fintech to Blockchain, to the everyday things people could use in IoT and cloud-based services.

I want to become an integral part of the Japanese technical industry, and I believe FIXER gives me that chance to grow and develop something that could truly change the world for the better.

Inside FIXER Interview Series:

01. Aaron Layfield - Architech & Full-Stack Engineer
02. Stephanie Falsone - Technical Business Strategist
03. Joe Easley - Talent Acquisition Leader
04. Mohamed Osamnia - GBA Div. General Manager

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