Between moving house, being a very important Chief Technical Officer, trying out our new Hove location and taking the time to answer questions alongside a mini photoshoot Syra Marshall has had a very, very busy week!
For us non-tech savvy souls, can you explain in lamen's terms a bit about what you do?
Ummm…..*laughs* whilst really sleepy?! What we do is solve a problem in an area of cyber security where human analysts write loads of reports, but the people that need to understand the information in the reports don’t have time to read them; therefore missing out on crucial information that could be relevant. A big example is the terror attack at London Bridge. There was enough information available in theory to notice but nowhere near enough people to read it all to join the dots and understand it.
Were you always interested in technology and computers?
Yes! Certainly since I was 4 or 5...I remember my dad had a portable computer with a green and black screen and I used to play on it!
- What could you even play on that?! -
Advanced Dungeons and Dragons...repeat I was 5! After a load of bullying I thought it was too uncool so I didn’t really do anything with computers until after I graduated from uni. I got a job at Metaswitch and started writing code.
What is your experience of the tech world in terms of diversity? As it has a reputation for being notoriously dominated by men…
*a lot of laughter*
It is VERY bad… in particular being transgender I’ve experienced both sides. There's a lot of assumptions that I never had to deal with before. A lot of hilarious mansplaining…
I love being able to turn around and tell them why they’re wrong!
You also mentioned your involvement with Bitcoin - for those who don’t know or who haven’t had time to google it - Bitcoin is a digital payment system. Should we all be investing in Bitcoin?
No! It’s way too volatile unless you have a large amount of money that you don’t mind the risk of losing... If you have 10K lying around you probably should...the return on Bitcoin this year has been something like 600/700%.
we LOVE having you at PLATF9RM, what is your favourite thing about it here?
The people that run it! They’re chatty and fun and nice and I really like hanging out with them. Also my partner is just across the road.
- Olga: Do you wave at each other? -
We actually do! We held signs at the window!
You just moved house HOORAH! It looks brill, what is the first thing you moved in that made you feel totally at home?
Literally all of my stuff! It’s been in storage for 14 months! MY BED! And the moment I can bring my cat in when everything’s sorted.
When you take a break from your screen what do you do in your spare time?
I play the piano!
- Off the record, Syra has a whole loada letters after her name for her piano skills.
What is your number one tip for maintaining a healthy work/life balance?
Don’t work at the executive level!!
Tell me your fave type of cheese?
Epoise particularly when eaten with a spoon in Paris with good company. It’s one of the stinkiest widely available cheeses, it punches you in the face with the smell!!
If you want to be a part of PLATF9RM - come try a free co-working day.