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Meet the… software developer and co-founder

Emmy and Oscar-winner Mark Hills explains why coding is such a fundamental part of the media technology industry

Mark Hills, CTO and co-founder, Cleanfeed
Talk us through an average day in your role

Cleanfeed fundamentally enables audio producers to work from anywhere, so it won’t surprise you that all our development happens remote-first, too. The team is in the UK so we can have a sync-up mid-morning to check for anything urgent or follow up on anything from the system that needs attention (we run a global infrastructure that’s spread worldwide and spans many different internet providers). I’m lucky to spend much of my time coding and architecting, which is what I enjoy.

How did you get started in the media industry?

Film making and radio. In my teens I made short films and stories with friends. Digital technology was nothing like today and we had to build our own solutions from what we had access to, whether it was props, electronics or software. The UK has a great student radio scene, and being involved with that led to my first job in a radio station.

What training did you have before entering the industry?

I have a PhD in Computer Science. That connected me to a job in research and development in a post production film house, where I worked on graphic algorithms in an environment that is very hands-on with the films being made.

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

The intersection of creativity and technology. Whether that’s the one-off solutions that break new ground and enable a creative moment, or technology that’s the result of careful craftsmanship and which people can lean on again and again.

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

I’ve had so much value out of understanding the fundamentals; the core concepts of computing which are unchanged in decades. They underpin all the new developments. As a developer, take an interest in what’s really going on behind the scenes; that’s knowledge you can build on again and again.