Lynda O’Leary, DevOps engineer at LetsGetChecked, is standing outside and looking into the camera while wearing a pink coat.
Lynda O’Leary. Image: LetsGetChecked

How a DevOps engineer fits into a healthcare start-up

18 Jan 2021

As LetsGetChecked responds to growing demand for at-home health testing, Lynda O’Leary discusses her work on the start-up’s tech team.

Lynda O’Leary is a DevOps engineer at LetsGetChecked, an at-home health testing start-up with bases in Dublin and New York. In addition to hormone, general wellness and sexual health tests, the company developed an at-home test for Covid-19 last year.

As demand for testing continues through the pandemic, O’Leary has been working with her colleagues to help give LetsGetChecked customers a “seamless experience” on its health-tech platform.

Here, she talks through a typical day in her role and how she has been navigating working from home since joining the growing start-up.

‘It is very exciting to work on a platform that is transforming how people engage with their healthcare’

What does your role at LetsGetChecked involve?

I’m a DevOps engineer at LetsGetChecked, responsible for managing AWS cloud environments, implementing infrastructure automation and providing infrastructure support across the company. I really enjoy working in infrastructure engineering as it gives me the opportunity to work on challenging projects and test myself.

I joined LetsGetChecked during the coronavirus pandemic when the company was hard at work to bring at-home Covid-19 tests to market. It was important to me to join a team working on something meaningful and so this was an exciting opportunity.

At LetsGetChecked, I’ve found a team full of dedicated, impressive engineers and designers building a platform that can help so many people around the world. It’s been a very rewarding experience.

If there is such a thing, can you describe a typical day in the job?

My workday starts at about 9am. As a team, we meet for our daily stand-up each morning to discuss our tasks, impediments and release updates. Every day brings different challenges.

Some daily tasks include provisioning infrastructure for new services, developing automation processes, building continuous integration and delivery systems, monitoring cloud infrastructure and troubleshooting issues with engineering teams.

As LetsGetChecked is rapidly growing, we are also involved in interviews for new team members, which is great. Companies need to focus on bringing diversity to their interview processes, especially in engineering roles.

What types of projects do you usually work on?

My tasks vary from day to day, but the main focus is to ensure the LetsGetChecked platform is resilient and highly available for customers to have a seamless experience.

We have grown over 800pc in the last year with Covid-19 tests bringing us new customers, and we want to ensure that they find LetsGetChecked’s platform easy to use and reliable.

Projects can include scaling out cloud infrastructure to meet demand, implementing automation so we can quickly adapt to change and optimising our application and performance monitoring so we analyse traffic more efficiently.

Which skills do you draw on most in your job?

In a fast-paced environment, it is important to have good communication skills, initiative and confidence in your ability. You need to adapt to change and be efficient with your time and delivery of your work.

Both technical and soft skills are essential to achieve innovation at scale, especially as we grow as a remote workforce.

I was taken aback by how communicative and decisive everybody on the LetsGetChecked team was when I joined. I’ve worked to try and improve my own communication and decision making since then. To support our accelerated pace of innovation and growth, it is important to have these interpersonal skills along with the more obvious technical skills.

What is the hardest part of your working day and how do you navigate that?

The hardest part of my day is switching off in the evenings. At times, it can be hard to give yourself a break. This is especially tough during Covid. The pandemic has changed the way we work and how we think about work-life balance. However, I have found a few solutions to managing this.

Essentials include a good desk set-up, a solid chair with lumbar support, and monitors.

Evaluate your lighting – good lighting is really important. At the moment it is dark by 4.30pm, so be mindful of the position of lights and your desk to help avoid eye strain and tiredness.

Set boundaries for breaks, lunch and working hours. Be respectful and mindful of other people; everyone has a different set-up at home. As most of communication is through Slack, emails and video calls, it is important to always be empathetic.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It is very exciting to work on a platform that is transforming how people engage with their healthcare and where you can see your work has a real impact.

I enjoy implementing scalable infrastructure and optimising how we work to achieve faster release times. On top of the technical aspects, I really enjoy the positive and inclusive culture that comes from the top down at LetsGetChecked. When you surround yourself with positive, driven people, you can achieve anything.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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