Q&A : Nabeel Omer - Software Engineer

Staff profile: Nabeel Omer – Software Engineer

Location: Bristol, UK
Education: Studied MSc at Cardiff University

How and when did you join SN Systems?

I joined SN as a placement student as part of my M.Sc. in August 2020 in the middle of the first covid lockdown, I also moved to Bristol at roughly the same time. I had always had an interest in compilers and a placement working on compilers for the PlayStation platform was basically a unicorn. After my placement I started working part time at SN while writing my dissertation at the same time, SN were really supportive during that time. Since then, I have been hired full time on the Toolchain team and continue to work on compilers.

What do you do at SN Systems?

I work in the Runtime Performance team; my job is to improve the performance and quality of the code generated by the PS4 and PS5 compilers. It’s quite a challenging problem but is also extremely interesting, it requires knowing how different parts of the compiler work and interact with each other. It’s quite fun!

What has been the biggest challenge during your time at SN Systems?

The biggest challenge for me has been communicating complex ideas to people, it’s an important part of software engineering so I’m trying to get better at it.

What do you like most about working at SN Systems?

I really like the people that I work with at SN, even though we’re part of a large, geographically distributed organization, everyone is very helpful and supportive. There’s also interesting work to do every day which is always a plus.

What advice would you give anyone wanting to get into programming?

I think the best way to get into programming is to read other peoples code and build your own solutions for the same problems in any domain that might interest you. Personal automation can also be a powerful motivator.

What lessions have you learnt so far working at SN Systems?

The biggest lesson I have learnt is that being able to dive into and understand unexplored domains is a very important skill for engineers. Most of my work is on LLVM which is a large and everchanging codebase and it’s quite important to be able to get up to speed with new things rather quickly.