Rachel Flynn is a Senior Software Engineer at Audacia, having joined in August 2022. Graduating from the University of Sheffield with a bachelor’s degree in Physics, Rachel initially began her career in corporate banking, before gaining a master’s degree in Computer Science and transitioning to a career in tech.
Rachel initially worked for a startup as part of a team developing next-generation touch surfaces. Eager to work across a greater variety of projects, industries and technologies, Rachel joined Audacia, a leading software development company with experience working with global organisations.
What software development projects have you worked on at Audacia?
I've contributed to five projects spanning transport and logistics, rail and wholesale sectors plus some internal development work maintaining Audacia’s internal libraries. My initial project involved augmenting the development team at a transport and logistics company to enhance their in-house software. It was very insightful to see how another organisation ran their in-house software development team.
Shifting to a nationwide wholesale organisation, I led phase two of the development, overseeing feature implementation and learning a lot about leadership and teamwork in the process.
The most recent project that I have worked on involved developing an AI-powered WhatsApp chatbot that can respond to enquiries about live train departure times for stations across the UK for Northern Trains. The chatbot is capable of understanding requests for live train times and can provide customers with information about any disruptions on a given journey.
Working on this recent machine learning project, my day-to-day duties were quite different; I would spend sometimes a week working on the model, which did not involve any coding, but just trying to understand different ways in which machine learning works, to try and train the model in a different way. This has been such an interesting project and it felt like a particular achievement to get this live.
What is the culture like at Audacia?
Joining on August 30th last year, I was quickly immersed in the company's culture by attending the summer BBQ just two days later. It was a fantastic way to dive in and meet numerous colleagues. Events like these contribute to a friendly atmosphere that you also get working day-to-day in the office.
I've also had outings to the cinema and go-karting, which offers something fun and different to perhaps more traditional social events you might find at a software development company. Engaging in these social activities has made approaching colleagues for help or casual chats much easier and it contributes to the positive work environment here at Audacia.
Unlike some past experiences, where people were reluctant to assist or where certain individuals claimed ownership over tasks, Audacia feels refreshingly different. Here, you can simply drop a question in the Development channel on Microsoft Teams about an issue you're facing, and colleagues are quick to help without hesitation. They might say, “It might be this, try that” or “feel free to reach out, I'm available during these times”. It's comforting to not feel silly asking questions, even as a Senior Software Engineer.
What opportunities have you been given for progression?
During my time working with a wholesale organisation, I had the chance to lead a team of Software Engineers, which taught me to identify individual strengths and areas for improvement in my own working style. I valued helping team members gain confidence in their abilities. Here at Audacia, the openness and accessibility make it easy to express aspirations.
When I shared my goal with my Career Coach – everyone at Audacia has a dedicated person to speak with about their career progression and professional goals — to become a Senior Software Engineer by the end of the year and take on challenging tasks, the support was incredible. They provided more complex assignments, checked on my progress and offered guidance whenever I needed it. This supportive atmosphere has made it a great environment for growth.
What is the favourite part of your role?
Two things stand out for me. First, I love the diversity of projects. Moving on to different challenges regularly is refreshing, whether it’s a new language, framework or problem to solve. Second, the office atmosphere is something I really love. Audacia has a great culture which really comes through in our office environment; it's something which has helped me build connections and close friendships since joining.
What type of advice might you offer for someone joining Audacia?
It's important to understand that the pace here is quite fast, considering we're a consultancy with specific timeframes to meet. Being aware of this and knowing you're not alone in facing challenges is crucial. Communicate openly if you're struggling with something or if a task needs more time than initially estimated. Speaking up and seeking help is encouraged and well-received. Being proactive and maintaining an open dialogue with the people you work with will really help you find your feet and grow a positive career here at Audacia.
Audacia is a leading software development company based in the UK, with headquarters in Leeds. Find out more about what it's like to work here and our current open vacancies on our careers site.