As one of the original GLXers, Harrison Pilkington has witnessed most of GLX Digital’s highs and lows. As the company heads into an unprecedented era of growth, it’s the opportunity to flex his creative flair and mentor newcomers that he looks forward to most.
When Harrison Pilkington joined GLX, he was the youngest on the team having not long completed his Computer Science degree at The University of Western Australia.
Like many computer scientists his age, Harrison was originally interested in gaming, and had his sights set on the competitive world of video game development. Then, a tertiary work placement at Australian streaming service, Quickflix, opened his eyes to other programming opportunities.
“Growing up, I really liked playing video games – like lots of kids from my era – and initially I thought I wanted to head in that direction. But at Quickflix I got my first introduction to real programming and web development, and found I really enjoyed it. I liked solving the problems it presented and developed a passion for creating websites."
Harrison’s placement at Quickflix turned into a three-year period of employment, including during a time of struggle when Netflix began making its move on the Australian market. It was at this point an opportunity – through an old Quickflix colleague – presented itself at GLX, then a brand new start-up.
“At that stage GLX was looking to create a team in Perth. The role was pretty similar to what I was already doing at Quickflix in terms of the (coding) languages and the framework, so I interviewed and got the job.
"When I first started, there were just four of us on the dev team, although during that initial stage we weren't really developing, we were supporting the company that was contracted to build the initial product. After that initial phase the developing transitioned over to us and we took charge.”
Today, GLX is based in Perth, Western Australia, and employs a team of 35, delivering multiple products to an ever-growing list of global clients. Once the youngest on the team, Harrison is now one of the more senior developers and finds fulfilment in mentoring his junior colleagues.
“I think having people that you respect around you to learn from is really valuable so when I find the time, I quite enjoy sharing my knowledge with younger employees. I enjoy teaching and explaining things to people. I like to be able to give back to the new crowd that's coming through the business because that's what I found when I was first starting out – it was great being able to learn from more experienced people above me.”
In addition to the mentoring opportunities, the creativity and social culture GLX offers keep Harrison engaged.
“At my previous place of employment the future was always in question – We never really knew how long the company was going to last for. But here, it feels like the future is bright.
"There are lots of opportunities to learn new technologies and frameworks, and keep up to date with these. Also, there are always new projects, which keeps things fresh.
"There’s the opportunity here to be creative, which is what attracted me to web development in the first place. I'm more of a front-end developer. I enjoy seeing things go from an initial design, through to coding, and then being live in your browser. Typically when you develop there are lots of problems to solve – how do we design something that's a good experience for the user, and then how do you make it look good? There’s lots of opportunity to be creative when you come up with solutions to these challenges.”