Meet The Avius Team is our regular blog series where you can get to know the members of the Avius team, learn about their work, thoughts on the wider VoC industry, and lives after 5pm.
This month, we’d like to introduce you to Luke Williams, Avius Director and co-founder.
Luke is an outdoorsy problem-solver and an avid book reader, always up for raising money for charity. Between developing new features for our feedback solutions and making his 1-year-old daughter laugh, he’s found some time to answer a few of our questions:
Can you tell us about your job and day-to-day responsibilities?
We’re always working on improving Avius solutions. I work across several areas of the product, researching and developing new features. My role also involves planning for the future and how we can securely scale the platform as we welcome more customers on board.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Problem solving is something I thrive on. How to apply technology to solve real-world problems and add value to people’s lives. That never gets boring.
If you didn’t go into software development, what would you do?
It was always inevitable that I’d take this path. From an early age I was always fascinated with computers and the seemingly endless possibilities they provided. I was lucky to be given a Commodore 64 for Christmas at around the age of 8 and managed to create some basic games and animations. That led on to making some small text adventure games with a friend, and it just seemed natural to continue that journey.
I also had an interest in robotics; I used to make small remote-controlled vehicles (if they stayed together long enough to be called that), but that was quite cost prohibitive in comparison and didn’t really take off.
How has software development changed in the 20 years you’ve been programming?
I think the fundamentals have largely been the same throughout. Different technology trends come and go frequently and you get more cautious of the next big thing as you get older.
The biggest difference for me is the access to learning resources on tap. It still amazes me just how much quality content is out there, just a few clicks away. Whether that is learning new technology, finding a resolution to a very specific bug (that only happens on a full moon with an easterly wind), or even more generally how to fix a small boiler issue at home.
What technology do you think is going to change the world?
I think AI and Machine Learning are the obvious fields that are making big strides forward and are relevant to what we do at Avius. I’m also really interested to see how far renewable and battery technology advances over the next few years as we need to make some big changes for the future generations.
What do you enjoying doing in your spare time?
I enjoy travelling and seeing different countries, as well as getting out for a long walk or a bike ride. Up until recently I was attending one or two live UFC events a year, which often took me around the globe and was a great experience.
Our first baby was born at the start of 2020, so priorities have shifted somewhat. But I love finding new ways to make my daughter laugh and to hopefully give her some amazing memories.
Last year we converted part of our garden into a vegetable patch. So, this year’s challenge will be to become more self-sufficient and enjoy growing some of our own produce with some little helping hands.
You’re an avid book reader, what’s the most recent book you’ve read?
I enjoy books with a technology focus. I’ve recently finished Inside Cambridge Analytica’s Plot to Break the World, which I’d recommend to anyone wanting to understand how social media platforms are able to provide these services free of charge, and the impact they now have on so many aspects of life. Most of the books I read now have flaps and make animal sounds when you press them though.
What’s your favorite childhood game?
Most of my games seemed to revolve around potential bone-breaking activities like jumping scooters down flights of steps and pretending to be a Power Ranger. I’d say that was my favorite.
What’s your favorite holiday spot?
We visited Sorrento in Italy a year ago, I’d happily go back there again. It’s a beautiful place and the food was incredible!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to raise money for charity?
At university Ben Story (Avius CEO) and I decided to move his bed outside a friend’s house late one night and sleep there until morning. We were awoken by an old man on his stroll for his morning paper, asking if we were raising money for Children in Need. So we then moved the bed outside a supermarket on a busy main road and stayed there for another 36 hours raising money. I think we raised about £300 in the end – and the local pizza place brought us pizza in bed!
What’s your most memorable fancy dress costume?
I spent a lot of time at university sewing strange costumes together, which looking back probably wasn’t the best use of the fees. My favorite was for the Bournemouth University Fancy Dress Summer Ball. I made one of those ride on birds, with a big wire mesh cage to keep the shape. It seemed like a great idea until I realized I had to stand the entire bus journey and had to recruit two people to get me out of it every time I needed the loo.
And lastly, if you had a time machine, would you travel to the future or back to the past, and why?
The future. In the hope that we were able to resolve a lot of the issues people have been predicting for years. And maybe sample some of the crazy new foods.
Keep an eye out for more interviews with Avius team members in the near future.