Union StUnion St

By Matt

Katie Fenn joined Union Street a few weeks ago when she began working for Canonical as a Senior Developer. Canonical is the company behind Ubuntu, one of the world’s most popular, free and open-source operating systems.

“The open source approach is built around the input from developers who share their time and skills because they believe in this way of working. My role with Canonical is to create software that will enable developers from around the world to contribute to the ongoing development of Ubuntu. What I really like about my job is helping people come together and develop new ways of using software that really makes a difference.”

Remote working

Katie doesn’t fit the self-employed profile of many of Union St’s members, but the model of staff on permanent contracts working remotely is something we are likely to see a lot more of in the future.

“I’d guess about two thirds of the Canonical staff work remotely. We have the technology to facilitate this and it helps companies like Canonical to recruit talented people regardless of location. It also means that we have staff online around the clock so any issues can be dealt with straight away.”

Why Union St?

“I’ve lived in Sheffield for the past 10 years and I already knew Union St as it has hosted meetings for local software developers. It seemed an open and friendly place and so when I moved to Canonical and needed a local base, it was an obvious choice. Another advantage is that there are several other developers that work here – Glen Mailer, J-P Stacey, Caolan McMahon and Mat Booth, so we can pick each other’s brains if we are getting stuck. I also really like the pop up cafes for lunch!”

In her spare time Katie has developed Parker, a tool to help developers produce simpler code. She is a keen cyclist and has recently taken up diving (with the bruises to show for it).

Words by David Edwards of www.wordscount.co.uk and you can follow Katie Fenn on Twitter at www.twitter.com/katie_fenn

About Matt
Matt co-ordinates Union St and Champions Enterprise Nation in Sheffield. For feedback, questions or suggestions please email matt@union-st.org
Katie Fenn