Q & A with Jack Bliss, Senior Full Stack Engineer

Q & A with Jack Bliss, Senior Full Stack Engineer

We sat down with Jack, Senior Full Stack Engineer, to find out what his day-to-day life looks like, what significant milestones he has had at Vortexa, and what he really thinks of our company culture…

12 April, 2024
Jessica Irvin
Jessica Irvin, Head of Operations & People

My mum is a software developer and has spent many years in the industry working with databases as a freelancer. She always encouraged me when I showed an interest in software and helped get me into it from a young age. I’ve been writing code as a hobby since I was around 12 years old. I studied electronic engineering at university but came back to software after graduating.

Fun fact: I’m descended from Robert Peel, the prime minister who axed Charles Babbages’ difference engine project.

We wanted to find out what inspired Jack to join Vortexa, what some of his biggest milestones have been to date and what day-to-day life really looks like for the Senior Full Stack Engineer…

What inspired you to join Vortexa? 

We live in a world governed by fossil fuels, but the industry as a whole is not well understood by most people. I was blown away by the potential offered by Vortexa’s data and models. The general narrative in the media around oil and gas is very focused on Gulf States and western countries’ relationships with those states, but the reality is a lot more complicated.

What would you say is the most interesting aspect of your role? 

Constantly having my understanding of the world’s relationship with fossil fuels challenged and reshaped. Everyone at Vortexa has a very deep level of understanding about the global oil and gas trade and there’s lots to learn. Also, things happening in the news directly affect our work, and vice-versa when news outlets cite our data as a source to explain or clarify global politics.

What have been some significant milestone moments for you at Vortexa? 

Launching some of our key datasets into Snowflake, a SQL-based dashboarding tool. Hopefully this will make it easier for clients to get low-level access to our data without straining our infrastructure.

[At Vortexa] everyone works well together and can be honest and open with each other.
What does day-to-day life look like for you as a Senior Full Stack Engineer?  

Standups in the morning to share updates with the team, then cracking on with some coding. I have a lot of autonomy, and if I want to fix a problem that other people are experiencing, it’s very easy to get buy-in from the team and start working on a solution. We have quarterly OKRs that we commit to, but as long as we achieve those, we have plenty of room for improving things more generally.

What key qualities make a Senior Full Stack Engineer successful? 

Independence, drive, creativity, confidence, and humility. Being able to spot things that will become a problem in the future. Not being afraid of the complicated or difficult parts of a system. Being able to tune your communication to your audience. Thinking holistically about how you can make things simpler. Putting accessibility and security first. Finding the balance between competing priorities. Helping to create as many senior developers as possible.

I was blown away by the potential offered by Vortexa’s data and models.
How would you describe the culture at Vortexa? 

Very friendly – everyone works well together and can be honest and open with each other. When times get tough, there is no blame game which makes it easy to figure out solutions as quickly and effectively as possible. There are targets, but they are well considered and well balanced to make them realistic while also pushing us to get lots done. We also talk openly about our role in the fossil fuel industry.

What advice would you give to people hoping to join Vortexa? 

Be prepared for some very complicated data systems! Vortexa handles millions of data points with every HTTP request, and they come from a wide variety of sources. We have many different data pipelines and transformations, and the more you can dive into them and understand them, the better poised you’ll be for success once you get started.

Describe your working life at Vortexa in three words! 

Challenging, Rewarding, Interesting

Jessica Irvin
Head of Operations & People
Jessica Irvin
Jessica is Head of People & Operations at Vortexa and is responsible for hiring, learning & development, culture, engagement, performance management and leading expansion plans.