Harvey Gleeson

Harvey Gleeson

Full Stack Developer at CoolPlanet

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in Dublin and after I left school it took me a bit of time before realising what I wanted to do. I work as a software developer at CoolPlanet, but I started as a science undergraduate, specialising in chemistry at UCD, where I spent a lot of time working in research labs studying the optical and electronic properties of organic nanomaterials. At the same time, I was teaching myself programming and realised that I found it far more satisfying than any other work I was doing, so I went back to college and did a master's in computer science before landing at CoolPlanet.

Life before CoolPlanet? I worked a few jobs in different areas before I came here, but CoolPlanet is my first experience in software development.

I completed a research internship after my chemistry degree and was funded to do doctoral studies soon after, focusing on generating hydrogen as a fuel source through photocatalysis. It didn’t take me long to realise that I wasn’t suited to academia at all, so while I was considering what to do, I left to work as a stockbroker, after which I started my master's. Throughout the degree, I had a part-time job in sales, and I started in CoolPlanet shortly after finishing my final exams.

What does your job entail?

As a developer, I’m responsible for implementing new features on our CoolPlanetOS platform. My work is primarily on the front end, which means I create new UI components and wire them into the app to provide new functionality and enhance the current software.

What do you enjoy most about working at CoolPlanet?

The best things for me are the people I work with and the culture of the company. CoolPlanet has allowed me to work in a fast-paced learning environment with a degree of trust and responsibility that I don't think I would get in a larger, less agile company. There was a steep learning curve when I joined, and looking back now I'm really happy with my progress and the direction I'm heading. Being in a job where I am constantly learning and improving is vital to me, and I’m certainly being given that opportunity here!

I enjoy working on a small team and I can see and get feedback from my colleagues that my input is important to the company, effective and appreciated. Knowing that I’m accountable for a feature and there is trust placed in me to provide it, as well as when I see the finished product on my screen in front of me, is a very gratifying feeling.

Interesting things about yourself?

  • My interest in science started early, there is a complete collection of dinosaurs in a box somewhere that I used to know all the names of. I probably can’t recite them with the same confidence that I used to.
  • During covid, my gym implemented a booking system to limit the amount of people who could enter, and it would always book out immediately. I wrote a programme that automated the booking for me meaning I could go whenever I wanted.
  • I once got lost in Spain and ended up walking some of the camino, probably one of the only people to accidentally go on a pilgrimage.
  • I’ve been to a Jedward concert, unfortunately.

What is your life's mantra?

I like to think I can do anything that anyone else can do, it might just take me (possibly a very long) time to figure out how. There’s a great quote from Muhammad Ali about being able to achieve anything - "Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing."