Alex Wenk is a technical lead and graduate trainer at Aerogility, a US-headquartered company that delivers maintenance scheduling systems to global civil and defence aerospace companies.
Why did you pursue a career in aviation?
I didn't so much pursue a career in aviation, more a career in software development. I've always had an interest in computers and software, participating in small computing projects in my own time, at school and at university. When Aerogility offered me a summer internship testing its code, I jumped at the chance to be a part of the team for an enterprise-scale application.
What is Aerogility and what is your role in the company?
Aerogility is an intelligent maintenance planning platform that delivers accurate forecasts for aviation management teams. I am leading a team of developers making software changes for an important client, as well as the management and training of the four graduate developers that I have recruited for Aerogility over the past six months.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy how much responsibility I have been given from day one, a perk of working for a small company. I have relished the challenge, having to pick up a large amount of domain knowledge in a short period of time to the level where I am comfortable teaching and presenting to clients.
Aerogility frequently offers me the choice of projects to work on and allows me to come up with my own ideas for how to improve our product.
Over the past few months, I have started to really enjoy the social aspect of my job too. We have a lovely office in Battersea, London with a rooftop terrace; perfect for winding down over a beer on Friday evenings.
What are the challenges?
Currently a challenge I face is balancing my time between training the new graduate developers and my own projects. There is no pressure for me to work long hours at all, but I often find myself working 12h per day or more in order to make progress on both fronts.
When I left university, I was expecting to go into a high-pressure job in the city and working these hours daily, so I really don't mind it at all. I find my work interesting and engaging enough that I can happily spend all day in the office coding, and as long as I am making progress the time seems to fly by.
How do you see your career developing?
As Aerogility grows, over the next five years I want to develop to a project management role. As much as I love coding, I am keen to explore a client facing and management position.
This process is already happening. In October, I attended the MRO Europe conference and exhibition in Amsterdam to discuss innovative solutions to the planning and scheduling problems our customers face, and next week I am off to meet a new client in Europe. Very exciting stuff ahead!
What do you do in your spare time?
I’ve recently developed a passion for photography, I spend a lot of time at weekends wandering around London taking urban photos to build up a portfolio. I really enjoy taking portraits of people and am looking to get into wedding photography as a hobby.
I also spend a lot of time exercising, making the most of the green areas Wandsworth has to offer. I'm a big fan of a good old boogie, too, and on any given Friday and Saturday night you'll find me out and about in south London getting my groove on.