- Name, role, and time at the company
Mike Aitchison, Electro-Mechanical Manager, 5 years
- Why did you chooseto work here and how this is progressing?
I applied to work at DiGiCo because it is (in my opinion) the world leader in live music technology equipment. Having been in bands, grown up around and studied sound engineering and electronics, working for a professional audio company is all I’ve ever really wanted to do. I ventured into the world of Hi-Fi for my first engineering job, previously built guitar amplifiers, and now I get to design top-end digital mixing consoles. I’m one of the lucky ones who works in something I am passionate about.
I helped get the SD12 launched when I first arrived, but from start to finish my first two projects through the DiGiCo doors were the “Ultimate Stadius” pre-amplifier and D-A converter (I even got my name “The apprentice” printed on the DAC!). Since then I have been heavily involved as an electronics engineer in the Quantum 7 engine, Quantum 5 engine, a number of DMI cards, progressed to system architect and project manage the Quantum 338, and now have led my engineering team to deliver Quantum 225 and the new DQ/MQ racks through lockdown. The experience I have gained through this is almost immeasurable for me in terms of progress, and it’s been extremely enjoyable along the way!
- What areas of work you enjoy?
For me, the most standout element of R&D life at DiGiCo, which massively contributes to my enjoyment, is the knowledge that we are all in it together. We face some extremely demanding technical challenges on a daily basis, but never alone. The diversity and knowledge depth that the DiGiCo team has means that I enjoy both the technical challenge and the engineering comradery. We do all enjoy a good beer together once the hard work is done too.
- Have you felt supported here in terms of development and mental health?
Unquestionably, yes. I have certainly been supported in terms of my professional development and working at DiGiCo has already given me some fantastic life opportunities. As for mental health support, through difficult personal times, of which there have been a few during this COVID pandemic, my team, colleagues and management have been incredibly supportive and very easy and open to talk to about anything and everything. There is always a sense of being in it together.
- Why would you encourage others to work here?
First and foremost, the engineering team here are at the top of their game. Every facet of our R&D team has such a high calibre of members that the experience breadth that there is to be involved with and learn from is like nothing I have experienced before.
Secondly, the trust that is placed in you by senior management, allows the freedom to discuss and develop ideas that satisfy engineering curiosity. There really is no such thing as a bad idea here, unless it results in flames…though even then purposefully engineered flames have their place! I continue my discussions about space-ship development with some of our other likeminded engineers!)
Finally, the culture created by the people I work with is just brilliant. I love my music, I love playing, recording, mixing, listening, attending gigs, and I like doing all of these things with a few beers! The attitude at DiGiCo is quite often referred to as “Rock and Roll”. And it is. We engineer really good stuff, we have a lot of fun whilst we’re doing it and ultimately we make a lot of noise!
- What is the atmosphere like in the company?
I know it is quite cliché, but the atmosphere here is led by work hard and play hard. Large scale live events are big, unstoppable moving objects, which require hard work and dedication around the clock to make sure we engineer the most reliable and intuitive products, offer the best support for any of our customers and provide our end users with the most enjoyable experience we can, so they can concentrate on bringing the best quality shows to their customers. The focus at DiGiCo is definitely customer driven, and because our customers work hard and play hard, we do too, and that drives the atmosphere on a daily basis.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
I have my aspirations to continue to develop my engineering and leadership skills at DiGiCo. We are already working on bigger, better, faster and more exciting products. I see myself remaining heavily involved in the engineering team at DiGiCo, helping to deliver these products, and I trust that the knowledge and experience I am gaining will allow me to continue to develop my career path here.