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Melinda Minear, Principal Software Engineer, has been part of the MAK Technologies team for more than 20 years. As a software engineer, Melinda specialises in feature development and testing, but over the years, she has taken on many different roles, such as head trainer and consultant.

When she is not travelling to meet with customers for training and consultation, Melinda works on improving features and fixing bugs for VR-Forces, keeping up to date with and expanding MAK’s training courses, and helping out with support. Learn more about Melinda and her life at MAK.

What do you like about MAK Technologies?

Everyone works together to get things done, and there is no competition between employees for positions or recognition. My co-workers and bosses are good, decent people whom I enjoy being around both in and outside the workplace. All these create a stress-free, productive work environment where all can feel welcomed.

I also appreciate the flexibility we have. If you have a doctor’s appointment or something for your child’s school, you can work outside of normal hours. I have also worked as a remote employee for 11 years from various time zones without any issues.

Have you always wanted to work in simulation and tech?

My university degree is Applied and Engineering Physics. I did an internship in college working on magnetic confinement fusion at Oak Ridge National Labs and in school I had worked on testing the cloud chamber section of the CLEO III particle physics detector at the Cornell synchrotron. So that was the dream, but alas funding dried up for research when I graduated, so I went to work on a boat instead, doing geophysics data collection. MAK was definitely a step up from that!

That sounds very different from what you do now! How did you join MAK?

I heard about MAK from a friend who used to work here. MAK at the time I joined was a small startup. A small, close-knit company appealed to me. It also helped that my friend said it was a good company. Oh, and at the time they advertised everyone could get their own office!

Can you describe what a typical day at work looks like for you?

I travel frequently for work. I drive for some trips, and y for others, but they all start with saying goodbye to my husband and daughter. I arrive and stay awake by walking around and getting some exercise. Then, I check in on the laptop for work with a cup of tea. Not particularly exciting! When I’m not travelling, I wake up, start work, organise what needs to be done for the day, have various meetings with co-workers, help out where needed, and get what I need done.

Fill in the blank: MAK has enabled me to _____

See the world. I meet people who use our software in ways I wouldn’t have expected, which helps us to improve our software and stay current with how people are using simulation. I keep my passion for work by interacting with customers too. They see our software in so many different ways, be that in ease of use or adding new features.

What do you feel was the most impactful or memorable VR solution that MAK has done which you were a part of?

VR-Forces. I’ve worked with it in different ways throughout my time at MAK. It is extensible and exible, so it can be used in many ways, from large-scale war gaming to individual simulations, or military-in-person training to forest re management. That versatility is what I really love about VR-Forces, and I think it has helped MAK grow as a company.

If you can debunk one myth about your line of work, what would it be and why?

A common misconception is that software developers are introverts who cannot communicate well with customers. This is not true. At MAK, we don’t have a middle group that works to handle interactions with customers. Many of our developers can easily communicate with customers in a way that the customer can understand, and I teach training courses. People are surprised I’m also a developer since I can explain things in easily understood language.

Share a fun/interesting fact about yourself!

I am trying to climb to the highest point in every state. I have 13 left.

My most memorable climb is probably Mt. Whitney in California. We did it as a six-day backpack trip to fully enjoy the experience. It’s not just about getting to the peak but being in nature. It was my rst intentional highest point. We didn’t bring enough food, I didn’t have the right gear, and our water filter broke, but I loved it. After that first trip, I got better equipment and have been out hiking in the mountains ever since.

I went up Bukit Timah on my last trip to Singapore. Not quite as high as Mt. Whitney but I saw lots of wildlife and truly enjoyed the hike. My next hike is with family on the Channel Islands o the coast of California, and my next highest point will probably be Arizona once the snow melts.

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