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Aniko Gaal: from water resources management to Delivery Lead

A few words about me:

Portrait style photo of Aniko smiling, wearing a jacket by the sea on a windy day.

Ooh fun facts or just some facts; originally from Hungary, I've lived in Ireland, and in Michigan for a short time too. I've now been in England for a while.

My current hobbies are cycling - mainly road, but I like a bit of MTB too and pilates.

I chose my university because they had a fun windsurfing club ... I love the sea and I can't imagine living more than 30 minutes away from it.

Are there any professional experiences you've had that are quite unexpected compared to what you do nowadays?

I started off in seafarer licensing at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). I had a short but amazing stint working with the Hydrography team, then moved into more administrative and secretariat roles before moving into IT projects.

Is your background more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or non-STEM related?

STEM, I've got a BAgrSc in Horticulture, Landscape and Sportsturf Management and an MSc in Water Resources Management.

Where did your professional journey start?

My career in tech began while working for the MCA's Hydrography team. I got my first taste of project work combined with technology. Using various 3D bathymetry (sea bed mapping) tools I worked on creating 3D images of the seabed including shipwrecks. I did this to check for gaps / anomalies in the data submitted by our surveyors before those were sent off to UK Hydrographic Office to be turned into charts - very cool stuff in my opinion.

How did you get into tech and what motivated you?

During my time in Hydrography I realised that I wanted to be doing project work. So given the chance, I joined the IT project team on a temporary promotion - one of the many perks of working in the civil service is the opportunity to try various roles even on temporary promotion.

I had the best time working on various projects with the IT team. I felt like I found my people and I also got to travel around the UK visiting various coastguard stations from Shetland, through Stornoway and Holyhead, to Falmouth. It was amazing.

In my current role, as a Delivery Lead at dxw, I am helping teams deliver great things to improve people’s lives which is also very motivating.

Have you experienced any 'career in tech' challenges / stereotypes?

Hmm I think if there was anything, it was probably around cultural differences - I am often considered blunt, this has its perks and its drawbacks.

"Find an environment where you can be yourself, experiment, and fail fast."

What you wish you knew before getting started in tech...

The number of times I would need to add new meaning to the words I thought I knew. Maybe that's just life however.

What has been your biggest 'wow!' moment related to working in tech so far?

Tech's contribution to making a difference - saving lives, preventing homelessness, and much more.

What do you like / not like about working in tech?

I don't like not being technical enough :) - luckily this can be helped!

"Tech is vast, you can also get to be very creative too."

What's been your favourite / most memorable / funniest 'career in tech' moment so far?

Most memorable times in tech have been travelling for work around the UK, meeting amazing people and introducing them to working in the cloud encouraging collaboration and contributing to breaking down silos.

And to wrap up, is there any advice you'd like to give to others interested in a career in tech?

Well, I guess for anyone looking for a career; life is short, spend it doing something you enjoy. Tech is vast, you can also get to be very creative too. Find an environment where you can be yourself, experiment, and fail fast.


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