Meet the team: From medical physics and research scientist to software developer

In the first in our series of ‘Meet the team’ blogs, Leo Garcia, software developer talks about his role and what inspired him to join the Substrakt Health team.

Leo Garcia

What is your role and what are you responsible for?

I’m a developer for Substrakt Health. I’m responsible for things like ensuring our apps work properly, implementing new features, and helping out the support team.

When and why did you join Substrakt Health?

I joined Substrakt Health in June 2019. I’d first met some of the team back in 2015 at an NHS Hack Day in Cardiff, and I remember being impressed by how friendly and supportive they were. In fact, their advice helped give me the confidence to begin a career as a software developer. When an opening came up several years later it seemed like fate!

What is your background?

My background is in medical physics, working as a research scientist and then in a cancer hospital. I moved to software development in the medical sector so that I could focus on improving my technical expertise whilst working in a worthwhile field, helping to make a direct difference to patients.

Tell us about a typical day

I start a typical day with a catch up with the team about what everyone did yesterday and what the plans are for today. I’ll liaise with the support team to see if there are any urgent issues to investigate, and then spend some time working on one of our applications or the infrastructure on which they’re hosted. This could be implementing a new feature that’s been requested, or fixing a bug that is affecting users, or finding a safer or more efficient way to build and launch an app. I’ll spend some time reading through and providing feedback on my colleague’s code, and then work collaboratively to plan out anything particularly complicated.

Is there one thing you are most proud of to date that you delivered or worked on?

I’m particularly proud of the work I participated in to implement a new way for patients to access our apps using the NHS login and their NHS details. We were one of the first healthcare companies to do this, and we worked closely with the NHS during its development phase. This work made it more straightforward for patients to start using the features in the application and ensured that our application conformed to the latest standards of data security.

What do you think are the most innovative projects or tasks that Substrakt Health has delivered to its customers since you have been with the business? 

I think that our ‘behind the scenes’ work on the infrastructure that our applications use has been highly innovative and enabled us to respond efficiently to increases in demand and provide continuity even in the case of outages of third-party services.