Virti Meet the Team - Lukas Roper - Unity Developer Lead
Meet Lukas Roper, one of the original members of the Virti team! Our core team leader ensures the dev team deliver our first-in-class products and improvements to the Virti platform.
One of the original members of the Virti team, Lukas now manages members of the tech team to deliver our first-in-class products and improvements.
Tell us a little bit about your background
Before joining Virti, I spent around seven years working in both the video game and VR space in Bristol. My previous career highlights include working on Adventure Time: I See Ooo, a BAFTA nominated VR game, and a non-VR anti-Brexit game called Not Tonight, which was very successful commercially.
I’ve also been lucky enough to work on projects used by companies such as IBM and Just Eat.
When did you first become interested in virtual and augmented reality technology?
My first exposure to VR came in 2013, with my friend’s original Oculus developer kit (DK1). We used this to develop a game based on a combination of Nena’s ‘99 Red Balloons’ and Dire Straights’ ‘Money for Northing.’ But once the novelty surrounding the new technology wore off, my interest in VR waned; the hardware just wasn’t really capable of delivering the experiences the industry was selling.
More recent hardware improvements in the XR domain have rekindled my fascination. The use case for XR tech as a core tool in training and education is only growing stronger - and this just makes working in the sector even more appealing.
When (and why) did you join the Virti team?
I was one of the very first people to join the Virti team. Initially, I joined on an informal basis, right before a small group of us travelled to Boost VC in Silicon Valley. Who would turn down a free trip to San Francisco?! During our time spent together in the US, I began to realise what a great opportunity working at Virti would be.
I really enjoy being a core member within a tight knit team, so I decided to become a permanent team member. Having been able to help influence a company from such an early stage has made it an even more interesting journey.
Can you describe your role at Virti? What does a ‘typical’ day look like?
I’m the core team leader! This means managing a sub team within the tech team to build better technology for our 360 video training offering. Day to day, I also work on development of the student-facing mobile app, web player and VR apps that we offer.
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What skills do you bring to the team, and what skills have you developed since joining?
I have an extensive knowledge of games engines and XR development, and I still actively game dev outside of my role at Virti to keep up with the latest trends. I’m also very familiar with working on a wide variety of products, either by myself or in small teams.
Since joining Virti, I’ve been able to strengthen my management skills and take on more responsibility within the core team. We’re a multi-national tech team which definitely has its challenges, but I couldn’t be working with nicer people.
I also had the opportunity to develop my skills further as Virti’s representative on the RLab programme in New York in 2020. I gained a whole wealth of knowledge around the important pillars for running a tech business, as well as opportunities to pitch and present what we do at Virti. It was hugely beneficial for my all-round development.
What excites you about being part of Virti?
The team of people we have here feels very special. We’re ultimately all working towards the same goals. Working ‘for good’ is definitely also a key driver for me; some of our users are medical professionals and it’s so rewarding to have been able to help them save lives, while reducing the stress they experience. I also love the unique technical challenges that come with working in such an innovative company.
What’s the proudest achievement (so far) as part of the Virti team?
I’m really proud to have been given the opportunity to oversee the technical side of one of our core products. It’s a large amount of responsibility! I’m also really proud to be making a solution that doesn’t get very many support tickets and working hard team-wide to push improvements out quickly and regularly.
Looking ahead, what do you think the rest of the year holds for Virti? What are you particularly looking forward to?
I’m really excited to push our product to a wider set of users throughout 2022. We’ve proven our use case in medical training, but it’ll be great for an even broader range of customers to start using our tech to empower their training and professional development. So I can’t wait to get working on further improvements to provide new and exciting applications for our tech.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hobbies, talents, projects etc…
I still game dev and I’m currently working on a new project that is due to come out very soon! Aside from this, I’m a big gamer. Favourites include Tetris Effect, XCOM 2 and Mario Kart. I do sometimes participate in “Maraoke”, a karaoke platform which runs online sessions on Twitch. I’ll watch pretty much any sport I can find on TV and I try to go to the gym when I can!
Connect with Lukas on LinkedIn or email him: firstname.lastname@example.org