Wondering how the tech you work with can make a genuine difference in the lives of others? Then you’ll want to read our latest interview with Christopher Matthews, Director of Clinical Software Engineering at Waters Corporation. Having worked there for over 15 years, and now in a brand new team and position, we get to know all about how his role impacts the business, how he’s been able to innovate and grow, and most importantly, how you could join the team. Let’s get started!
What does your role as Director of Clinical Software Engineering entail and how does it impact the business?
Waters created its Clinical Systems Development team in 2022 to provide a dedicated global clinical science and R&D team within Waters. I joined this new venture from the outset, which meant my main responsibility was to establish a Software team, from scratch, that was capable of developing the process, practice, and products required during the critical early development period of the new department.
To achieve this aim, it was important to find the right balance of engineers, both experienced and those with potential, who we could integrate into a cross-functional, diverse, and performant, system software engineering team.
Now that we have the initial team in place, I’m balancing out recruitment with other key aspects of the role which include strategic planning, providing guidance and expertise to team members, and ensuring we foster a culture within the team which will allow innovation and technical excellence to flourish in a fast moving and competitive sector of the industry.
How have you contributed to Waters Corporation’s overall mission in your 15 years there? What has this involved, what have been the outcomes and what has helped you to stay so long?
Prior to moving into Waters Clinical Systems Development team last year, I’d spent all of my Waters career in the Mass Spectrometry Instrument Control team, whose responsibility was to develop Software drivers for our instruments. As part of this team, I had influence on pretty much every mass spectrometer Waters has produced over the last 15 years, from the early days of developing features, to being a development lead, to managing instrument projects and eventually to full blown program delivery of multiple instruments into a data system.
It’s hard to identify one specific reason as to why I’ve stayed with Waters all this time. There is something to be said for living and growing with a company, so it’s fair to say it’s a mixture of career progression, interesting ever-changing technical challenges in cutting edge areas and, probably above all else, the people who I’ve worked with along the way.
How does Waters Corporation enable its people to grow, innovate and develop? How have you been able to (career-progression) and how have you helped others to?
I have been fortunate to work with some very talented people during my time at Waters. In the early days of my career, key people from many areas of the business took their time (and patience) to help develop my domain knowledge and more recently I've established a network of peers who are happy to provide honest feedback and opinions on the challenges we face.
Having started out as a Software Engineer, developing features for our mass spectrometers, right up until my current position, I've worked under a series of managers who have placed their trust in me to take on the responsibility of leading development projects, and teams, whilst also providing opportunities to develop and grow through management opportunities, training courses and mentoring.
Trust and opportunity are values I’m always keen to pay back into the business, helping to mentor team members along their chosen career path, providing guidance on options and routes to achieve their personal or career goals. I always try to make myself available to answer any questions or offer my perspective on decision points that are shared in confidence
There’s real potential growth opportunity for science technology in the next 10 years, how is Waters Corporation aligning with this and what are you looking forward to?
The very fact I’m talking to you as Director of Clinical Software Engineering for Waters Corporation speaks to how Waters is aligning with growth opportunities; it’s a new role in a new team focussed on a specific area of the industry.
In this age of chronic and complex diseases, what excites me most is to be part of a team that has the potential to provide innovative analytical solutions to customers that can help them detect disease-related compounds, support labs with technology to help them potentially solve drug-related crime and protect society from harmful substances and, contribute information that may impact the lives of newborn babies. It brings added meaning to your everyday work.
Overall Waters has a mission to help patients and improve healthcare outcomes by collaborating with our customers to solve their toughest problems to leave the world better than we found it. It’s a mission I can wholeheartedly stand behind and take pride in contributing towards on a daily basis.
People may be daunted by the scientific domain that you work in, how can someone with little-no scientific knowledge or experience do if they’d like to join Waters Corporation?
When recruiting into our software teams, prior scientific knowledge is often not a key consideration in our process, as we understand skilled software developers won’t necessarily have worked in our industry. To bridge this gap, when people join us, we provide relevant training whilst facilitating them working closely with our scientists and domain specialists. The skills developers already possess are what we need to complement our team, and we look for people who can bring their existing skills and apply them within the domain whilst showing a willingness to learn.
So, if you do come for an interview, it doesn’t hurt to have performed a level of prior research, but I’d recommend showcasing your existing talents, be inquisitive and ask appropriate questions when possible.
Interested in working at Waters Corporation?
If you’d like to join the team at Waters Corporation, then create a profile on the hackajob platform, where they’re currently hiring for a variety of roles across the world or log in to your profile here. You can also keep updated with them on LinkedIn and Waters Corporation Jobs.