Meet Amanda, Software Engineer and adventurer
January 12, 2023
- Job role: Software Engineer
- Team: R&D Analytics team
- Office location: Linköping, Sweden
- Time at Axis: 2 years
What is your role at Axis?
I work as a Software Engineer in our Linköping office. My team is focused on one specific application: Smart Search 2. This is a smart search function within AXIS Camera Station video management software. With deep-learning object and color classification, it allows a user to quickly search through video material to find a specific person or vehicle. For example, if anecdotal evidence suggests an item in a store was stolen by a man in a red t-shirt, it’s possible to search through video material quickly, identifying the frames which include a man wearing a red top to find any proof.
Everyone on my team is a Software Engineer. We’re all responsible for everything involved in the application, from the backend (such as machine learning) to the frontend (like testing and deployment). Basically, I do a bit of everything, and I enjoy that as it means I learn a lot and can try different things out.
Can you share more about what a typical day at work might look like for you?
Everyone on my team comes into work at slightly different times – depending on what suits them best. I tend to come in early and spend the first hour or so doing some research and preparing for the day ahead. Then, around 9am, we have a short stand-up meeting as a team to look through our backlog, discuss what’s been done and decide on work priorities for that day. After that, the whole office meets up for a short fika (a mid-morning coffee break).
In general, my team (and the Linköping office as a whole, given its R&D focus) uses a different working method: mob programming. Essentially, three or more people sit at the same computer, all working together to solve a problem. I really like this approach: you and your colleagues can discuss the challenge together and can usually solve the problem faster. You all have the same focus so even the most difficult challenges can be figured out. It also helps me to learn a lot from my colleagues.
We often eat lunch as a team, whether that’s in the nice lunch area in the office or heading out together. Usually, we follow lunch with a quick game of table tennis in the recreation area or if it’s a Thursday, we play some pickleball. We play as a wider office but my team is one of the most active in terms of getting involved in the sport. Everyone is welcome! Most people are learning it for the first time when they play so it’s just a fun way to get a bit of activity into the day.
I usually log off around 5pm but it depends. We have flexible hours, so everyone is encouraged to work the hours that suit them. That flexibility extends to remote working but to be honest, my teams tries to get into the office as much as possible. We did get used to working remotely and maintaining our mob programming approach from home during the pandemic, but you miss the small chats here and there that take place in the office. We have so much fun working together that we prefer to come into the office now that we can!
“We’re always encouraged to innovate, think about new ideas and ultimately, bring some magic to work.”Amanda Tydén
Describe Axis in three words.
Innovative – we’re always encouraged to innovate, think about new ideas and ultimately, bring some magic to work. Initiatives like Free Fridays help us to carve out time to be more creative.
Open – there are no closed doors at Axis. You can always ask someone for help or advice here.
A community – we’re all working towards the same goal. It feels like a family, with everyone wanting to do their best and help each other out.
What do you enjoy most about working at Axis?
The application I work on is part of our end-to-end solution, so I get to see the whole chain – from the cameras to the application layer. It’s fun to try out the cameras and see how they work at the edge while working on our application on the server side. I love seeing the bigger picture of where our application slots in and how it all fits together!
I also enjoy the autonomy we have at Axis when it comes to steering how an application is developed or what new feature should be built. One of our values is to ‘Think Big’ and I see that every day at all levels in the organization. Everyone recognizes that a great idea can come from anyone. Managers listen to us, consider our ideas and are open to thoughts from anyone on the team when it comes to continuing to innovate and make the product even better.
What does work-life balance mean to you?
I don’t live my life just for work, but work is a big and important part of my life. Everyone needs to “live a little” and find the thing that sparks their fire. For me, it’s important that the workplace is flexible enough to allow employees to explore new opportunities and develop as a human being – both at work and outside it. No two days are the same. Sometimes you just want to dig into work but there are times when life takes your focus outside of work. There has to be a balance, and the flexibility we have at Axis enables that.
How do you see Axis making a difference in the world?
The world is in a very shaky place right now: we have a lot of tough problems to solve. I believe it’s important that people feel safe when they move in society, whether that’s just going to the local store or travelling through an airport. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world is nice and there are risks out there. But Axis is contributing to making public spaces safer and giving people a sense of security when they go out. That matters to me – helping people to feel safe.
Our work has the potential to contribute to the greater good in so many other ways too. For example, my master’s thesis focused on the benefits of a virtual watchtower in a rhino sanctuary in Kenya. Specifically, I looked at how it could contribute to not only preventing poaching but also delivering data and insights that can help rangers to care for the rhinos. I actually went to that rhino sanctuary earlier this year to run a first installation for a project, which I loved! Axis has been involved with animal conservation projects before and we’re in more conversations now.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Above all, don’t be afraid to get things wrong. We all learn through making mistakes, so be brave! If you dare to dream and believe in yourself, you can do anything.
What’s your ideal day off?
I’m lucky enough to live close to some really beautiful places, including three gorgeous lakes. On a sunny day, I like nothing better than to pack some lunch and head outdoors with a friend, enjoying the beautiful scenery near the lakes and going for a swim. That’s my ideal day off.
Want to join the team? Have a look at out open positions.