Welcome to the team, Nyalls!

App Development
May 10, 2021
4 minute read

Nyalls has joined the team as a developer. Interestingly, he was named after a Frasier character that his mum liked. We gave Nyalls a quick grilling to get to know him a bit better.

Before joining Bad Dinosaur, Nyalls was working for the government as a developer. He had always wanted to be PM as a kid, and he found it very rewarding, but in the end the bureaucracy of the civil service pushed him to look for something a little different. He first came to Edinburgh to see an Enter Shikari gig at the tender age of 16, the city must have made an impression because at 18 he left the little town of Cleckheaton (just outside Bradford) for Auld Reekie and never looked back.

Why did you move to Bad Dinosaur?

Originally I said I’d never join an agency because I was a bit anxious about the pace of work and the idea of just churning stuff out. I thought it would be insane hours and just briefs in, code out. When I came across Bad Dinosaur I was interested in the idea, their ethos and environment seem really cool, I like the commitment to 9-5 hours only and the ability to get involved with projects from the beginning and help shape the finished product.

How did you get into development?

I probably went to uni a little too young. I ended up doing a degree in Philosophy, which I tried to escape but it was too late to swap by the time I figured that out. I did finish the degree and I did learn a lot, but I had always been techy and into computers so I decided to explore that by retraining through Codeclan. I was in the cohort just after Ian and Jardine (Bad Dinosaur Developers). 

How do you feel about starting remotely?

I’ve got a nice set up at home so I don't mind the actual work side, but I do feel like I’m missing out on the social side of it. I think I toe the line of introverted-extroverted, so my preference is definitely for a bit more in-person interaction. On the one hand I like the fact that I can put my head down and do the work but on the other I just want to go to the pub with everyone!

Got any interesting hobbies?

I build mechanical keyboards, I always wanted to get involved in it and over the last year I had saved a bit of money so I started building. I’ve got one for work, one for gaming, and I’m working on a new one now too. I play a lot of tabletop role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, and I like tattoos - I’ve got between 10 and 14. Some of them kind of merge into one another, so the exact number is a little up in the air. My favourite one is a lightsaber on my thigh that I got when I graduated (I thought I had basically become a jedi). Next I want to finish the dragons one on my chest that I got started before lockdown. I’m very excited about finishing that one. 

Favourite computer game?

I’ve been worried about answering this one, it has to be between Dark Souls or Fallout: New Vegas. I game quite a lot, pretty much every day so I find it hard to choose. Some games are pretty important to me because they’re all associated with different periods of time in my life, and some of them are a bit hard so it’s a big accomplishment to complete them. 

What was the last book you read?

I don’t really read that many novels, but I recently read a sourcebook for D&D because I was running two campaigns with some different groups. There’s a lot of reading and revising to make sure you’re up to speed on the lore. D&D is a great game for a more chilled vibe - I’m not averse to flipping the board if things get too heated in super competitive games so it’s nice to have a more leisurely option. 

If you could live anywhere aside from Edinburgh, where would it be?

I think Japan or Canada - definitely getting inspo from Valentin! I watch a lot of anime which has always drawn me to Japanese culture. I do appreciate that I’m ticking practically every developer stereotype with these answers but it’s genuinely just stuff that I really enjoy! You could say I didn't choose the dev life, the dev life chose me. 

What gig are you most looking forward to once we can again?

I would love to see Hamilton, I saw it on Disney+ and just loved it. Pretty much all of my top five tracks on my Spotify Wrapped were all from the soundtrack. I’d love to see James Acaster live, his comedy is right up my street. I’d love to see some american groups like Run The Jewels live, and now that Kanye is getting divorced he’ll probably be touring again soon so I’ll be keeping an eye out for that.

What's your favourite dinosaur?

It’s a triceratops. I like the shape of his head, and the Blue Ranger was my favourite Power Ranger when I was a kid, and his Zord was a triceratops. I learned a lot about Dinosaurs when I was working in Dynamic Earth actually, so I feel like it’s prepared me well for this role!

Would you rather go into the past and meet your ancestors or go into the future and meet your great-great grandchildren?

 I think I would like to go into the future, because I‘d be able to see how the world has developed, what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and see if I’ve done a half decent job of raising the next generation(s).

If you'd like to join our lovely team please check out our current openings on Linkedin and get in touch for more info.


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