Q&A with Ayogo’s Lead Software Developer
|Name: Ian Suda|
|Title: Lead Software Developer, Ayogo Health Inc.|
|Fun Facts: I’ve been doing judo for 29 years!|
|Hobbies: Judo, running, hockey, video games.|
Each month we put an Ayogi in the Spotlight. This month meet Ian Suda. Ian is our lead software developer and has been with the company longer than Ayogo has been “Ayogo”: he’s one of only four original Ayogi’s including co-founders Paul Prescod and Michael Fergusson.
Ian graduated from UBC’s Computer Science program and launched his career at the startup Kinzin. Paul Prescod was Kinzin’s “Dad” or Director of Application Development. When Paul left Kinzin to co-create the company that became Ayogo, he brought Ian along for the ride! HockeyPool Pro was one of the first games that Ian developed with the Ayogo team and it was one of his favourites. “We knew how to make good Facebook games and we took that and applied it to gamification of health related things,” he says.
Eight years later, Ian now manages Ayogo’s team of software developers. He’s the backbone of a multitude of projects including Ayogo’s first health game HealthSeeker for people with Type 2 Diabetes, and Ayogo’s Empower Platform™. Ian’s enjoyed the shift in focus to healthcare and technology that can support positive behaviour change. He embodies the culture of Ayogo with his love of games, generosity to his team and to the wider dev community, and he is a model of healthy behavior. Ian really does live the Ayogo motto: “do your best work, change the world, and laugh every day!
What are you hoping to achieve while at Ayogo?
Career wise, I’m in a good place. I have developed from working with a few other people to managing my own team of software developers. All I can hope for is that the applications we build actually help people. If we develop software that aids people in understanding and managing their health conditions, then I’m happy. On a daily basis, I try to focus on cultivating a positive company culture too.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge in developing behaviour changing software for the healthcare industry?
It’s a bit harder to pick out the general challenges because my attention is on programming problems which are comparatively easy for me to solve. The more difficult challenge is finding the right solutions for the people using our applications. I can tackle any bug that may come along, but as a team we talk a lot about how the overall solution works for both the end user and the customer.
What advice do you have for those who are looking to start their career in software development, specifically within the healthcare space?
Building a good portfolio is key to any type of software engineering job. This good programming portfolio should include Github. What I typically look for are people that contribute to Open Source. I look for signs that you’re active in the development communities, perhaps going to local meet-ups on dev topics that you’re interested in. Try things that help you make a name for yourself.