Meet the team: Karen Connell
What is your background and how long have you been at OS?
It’s been a bit of a journey to bring me to OS. After finishing my Communications, Culture & Media degree at Coventry University, I went to teach English in rural Japan for 3 years. When I returned to the UK, I turned my hand to public relations. As the years went on, I was increasingly focusing on more technical tasks like website management and app creation. Realising I might be more of a technically minded person, I applied for the IT Trainee scheme here at OS and it was the break I needed – I have now been here for 5 years!
Why did you choose OS?
I was initially attracted by the trainee engineer role as it gave me the opportunity to change careers and offered the training that I needed. Since joining OS, I’ve realised there’s a great work life balance, with a generous leave package and flexibility to allow for my family life. The on-site nursery was very handy in my first couple of years! I’m also a member of OS Runners which as well as keeping me healthy enables me to socialise with people from all aspects of the business.
How has your geospatial journey grown during your time at OS?
When I arrived at OS I was a blank page, both in terms of software engineering and geospatial technologies. Since then I’ve worked closely with a mentor, had plenty of training, attended some international conferences and worked on a variety of projects giving me the tools, skills and experience I needed to progress to Senior Software Engineer.
What are your responsibilities as a Senior Software Engineer?
My current job is to develop a new system which creates and delivers our growing suite of Address products. We are using Microsoft Azure and dotNet technologies to work with our large datasets and produce complex products efficiently. I have a small project team and often liaise with stakeholders outside of the team to keep them informed. My role also includes mentoring and line managing new trainees which is particularly rewarding as that’s where my engineering journey began!
What excites you about geospatial technology at OS?
Location is such an important part of modern life and it’s a huge growth area. Even in the short time I’ve been here, the projects and capabilities have changed so much and we are continually working with brand new exciting technologies. I really enjoy a good logical problem to solve and there are plenty of opportunities for this when working with geometry.
What’s next for you?
I am still learning so much from the talented people I work with and hope to continue this and expand my expertise in new technologies.