Alumni profile - Tom Brearley

BEng Computer Science, now working at Twitter Inc, California

Current role

Tom is a software engineer on Twitter's revenue team and broadly builds and maintains current and new sites for Twitter. Recently his work has involved building infrastructure as part of the revenue team, working on projects like ads on Twitter and back-end tools for their advertising platform.

Best things about your job

Tom primarily enjoys the environment he works in, especially the team and people he works with. The range of expertise and experience in the industry cultivates an environment which helps to act as a catalyst to his thinking and creativity in his role.

Following that, he welcomes the relaxed approach to work ethos within the company, highlighting what matters to the company is output. "As long as you're not letting your team down, everyone is fairly relaxed with whichever working platform you establish and sometimes where you choose to work. Twitter also provides generous perks for its employees, such as free health insurance, free meals and a flexible approach to vacations."

Tom highlights that, like any job, "there will be busy periods when deadlines creep" and the pressure on time becomes a challenge but attibutes this to general employment and not necessarily an exclusive part of his experience at Twitter.

Skills and qualifications

Besides requiring a degree in order to get a visa to work in the United States, Tom built a skill set whilst developing Twitterfall with friend David Somers whilst studying his course.

Tom says, "The course content definitely attributed to my ability to develop and build Twitterfall." Tom also naturally picked up the skills and expertise Twitter was looking for, due to his involvement and his familiarity with the Twitter eco-system. 

Other skills that Tom feels atributed to him getting his job at Twitter include general programming experience, sound technical knowledge and the ability to think through planning and projects, all skills he picked up during his degree.

Some advice

Tom interviews graduates at Twitter, and he gives the following advice: "Stay sharp on your knowledge - you can very quickly mess up an interview if you don't answer those questions strongly. Topics I covered in my degree are used in industry to solve broad computer science issues, so staying up to speed with those will serve you well in, and beyond, employment."

Career progression

At the moment, Tom wants to stay at Twitter, as he enjoys the environment and the people he works with. At some point in the near future, he might think about progressing through their tech ladder system, gaining more responsibility and focused experience in specific parts of the business, possibly working up to senior management in the future.