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My career at AF started in 2010. My first task was training Members to use our invoice integration platform – an industry-first software product that allowed farm bookkeepers to import their AF invoices into Farmplan. Before AF I worked as a bookkeeper and a career in technology was not something I had planned. This was my first software project and one that ended up snowballing into the role I have today.
Making our Technology aspirations reality
I now lead the AF technology team. We’re a team of ten developers and analysts who support all of the software and hardware that keeps AF operating.
A lot of the work we do happens behind the scenes but we are all really excited to be focusing on Member facing software. This year we have four major projects in progress, including:
- the rebuild of our Member portal AF interactive
- extending the range of products that you can order on AF online
- starting an exciting data project that we will be announcing in the next few weeks
- supporting AF Affinity in the delivery of an online platform
One of the things I most enjoy about working in technology is how quickly things change. Just look at how far Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has come in less than twelve months. The goalposts are constantly moving and we have to continually learn and adapt to ensure we are providing solutions that will support AF, and our Members, today and in the future.
Nurturing new talent
One of the highlights of my role has been bringing new people into the technology sector. Even now, there is still a stigma that you need to be a certain type of person to work in technology. In reality, there are so many opportunities beyond being a programmer. If you are curious and inquisitive, enjoy getting to the root cause of a problem and approach tasks in a logical and methodical way then why not give it a try? I’m currently looking for a Systems Success Analyst and this role would be a great introduction to someone who is considering a career in technology.
On our home farm
Being married to a farmer and living through the large-scale change and diversification that we are having to make to the farming business means that I am acutely aware of the issues facing agriculture, the farming industry and many of our Members. I’m so lucky that my role enables me to combine my passion for technology with my love of the countryside. When I’m not at AF or lending a hand on our home farm, you will find me with my three horses Dilly, Legs and Fox or walking my Jack Russel’s Izzy and Daisy.
Samantha Barrell Chief Technology Officer
firstname.lastname@example.org 01603 881 836