My first month at harrison.ai…by Software Engineer Will Croxson

“I grew up on Macleay Island, off the coast of Brisbane. It was idyllic when I was a child but as I got older it became a hindrance. Everyone thinks island living must be amazing, but as a teenager it isn’t, because all of your friends are on the mainland and it takes you three hours to visit them.

I was always good at maths and computers. At my little primary school on the island I would help the teachers with their computer issues, because they had no dedicated IT support. I guess the IT support was me. They were using laptops with old hardware. They were pretty ancient. But that’s where the interest started.

The IT support continued in high school on the mainland, where I volunteered to help with the computers. By the time I got to Grade 10 the school offered me a traineeship in the IT department. I’d go to school in the morning, stop by the department and get some hours logged, then go to my classes.

I eventually enrolled at Griffith University for a Bachelor of Information Technology with a Major in Software Development. I even started working at the university IT support centre. It seems I end up working at the IT support department wherever I happen to be.

After uni I joined a graduate program in the public sector, [DD1] working on the last census. During the census it was non-stop. One job would finish and there’d be another ready to go. But once the census was over, I had nothing much to do and I felt unfulfilled. So, I started looking around for another job.

I saw a role for a software engineer at harrison.ai advertised online. It piqued my interest, so I applied. I was immediately impressed by the hiring process. They moved much quicker than I’d experienced with previous employers. While other employers have taken months to get back to me, harrison.ai got back to me within a week, and they were really open and transparent about everything. I had a few phone calls and a couple of online video meetings with the data engineering team.

I was also definitely impressed with the harrison.ai mission. Utilising AI to do medicine is something I’ve foreseen for quite a while. It’s quite incredible to see the company has come so far in such a short time.

When harrison.ai phoned me to tell me I got the job, I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to get started on something new. The first month has gone very well, I settled in and within the first week I was working on tasks that were delivering value. The onboarding was also really good, and it was a big part of how I got up to speed so quickly.

I’ve been working with franklin.ai converting scans into readable images. There are definitely parts of the job that are challenging and I do bang my head on the desk some days because working with images is new to me. But despite all that it’s still really enjoyable, especially after those periods of head banging when I feel a sense of accomplishment from getting something to work.
I’ve noticed lots of differences between working in the public sector, and harrison.ai. The freedom here is very welcome. The amount of work I’ve been able to do here at harrison.ai in the last few months has been huge, as decisions are made quickly and autonomously. The computers here at harrison.ai are also great to work with, my laptop has an 8 core processor and 32 GB of memory.

Working with harrison.ai – even remotely like I do – is really quite social. The people and culture team delivered a virtual morning tea catchup for all the new hires in May. We all jumped on a call and said hello and got to know each other. I know they have Friday afternoon events, some of those are in person in Sydney, so I obviously can’t attend them, but the virtual ones are still fun.

It’s too early to say where I could go with harrison.ai over the next five years. I just don’t have enough knowledge of the company structure and how things work to even make a guess. To be honest, I don’t know if I’d want to go anywhere outside of this work because this is where I’ve dreamed of being from as long as I can remember.

harrison.ai has a mission to touch a million lives a day. And that is baked into a lot of the tasks we do. It’s really fulfilling knowing I’m doing something that actually makes a difference.

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