Sparkol behind the scenes: meet Hao Chang

Naomi Linford Apr 21, 2021 2:21:00 PM

One thing we’re especially proud of is that 50% of the Sparkol team and one third of our development team are female. Having found that this wasn’t usually the case in technology businesses, our CEO, Zoe Taylor made gender equality a priority. We hope you’ll agree that our team and our products are stronger for it!

To share more about what it means to work in a diverse development team, we sat down with Hao Chang. Hao is a brilliant Software Engineer whose work ensures that VideoScribe is continually developing to make creating captivating videos easier than ever.

So let’s get into the questions...

First things first, can you tell us about your background and how you got started at Sparkol?

I did my undergraduate degree in TV and Radio Engineering during which I first started coding. There was something so satisfying about seeing immediate results and action from just a few lines of code. It was after that I knew I wanted a career in technology.

To make it happen I went on to do a Master’s Degree in Computer Science at Southampton University. I then joined my first tech company working on front-end website development. I was there for six years until I joined Sparkol, excited by the opportunity to expand my skills and work on back-end development.

What does your typical day at work look like?

I leave home at 8am to drop my son at nursery on the way to the office. Then I like tackling trickier tasks in the morning like reviewing other team member’s code which involves switching development environments.

Everyday we have a development team stand-up which is basically a time for us to come together and share information, discuss blockers we’re facing and share progress on our work.

In the afternoon I’ll get to work on a story which is essentially a description of a software feature from an end user perspective. For example, at the moment I’m working on a tool to make releasing new images to the VideoScribe library even easier and more robust.

What's the best part about working at Sparkol?

I have the freedom to experiment with new technologies and the support to learn new things.

Everyday I learn something new, which isn’t normal for the average tech company. You wouldn’t usually be trusted to work on technology you haven’t used before but here it’s completely different.

It’s interesting, challenging and makes you feel like you’re working towards something worthwhile.

What's the biggest lesson you've learnt here to far?

I’m so much more confident in my technical abilities because I’m involved in the whole journey from conception of a feature through to deploying it to the customer.

I can see how the software all comes together and the impact I’m having.

What do you get up to outside work?

My son is like a mini manager, my weekends and evenings are really dependent on what he wants to do.

If he’s in the mood to be outside, we'll go to the play area or meet up with friends who have kids of a similar age so we can have a break while they entertain each other!


What's something not many people know about you?

I had some of the best seats to watch the Beijing and London Olympic Games.

When I was a student I worked at the Games as a camera assistant. I probably shouldn’t be admitting that I was more excited about having a front-row view of the action than the filming process…

Want to join Hao and the team at Sparkol? Check out our latest job vacancies here.