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Let’s Meet … Ron Anywar

20 June 2024 Posted in: Articles, News Tagged: By: Megan Jones

This month we’re getting to know Ron from the Teaching and Learning Systems team.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role.

I’m fairly new to Queen Mary University, having started in April this year. My role is Teaching and Learning Systems Development Analyst. To summarize, it’s back-end Moodle stuff. It involves carrying out configurations, planning and change management around updates of new and existing tools, making sure those changes go smoothly. I’m part of a small team, just myself and my line manager, Yanna Nedelcheva.

A bit about myself – I’m quite quiet, especially in the office. I tend to keep my head down and focus on my work. I became quieter after lockdown. I think that period of time changed me a little bit, or it could just be that I’ve aged since then!

What did you do before joining QMUL?

Previously I was at UCL, mainly answering tickets relating to issues that staff and students had with Moodle. The work was more front-end, learning how the tools and platforms worked from a staff or student perspective. Everybody was very friendly, but I felt like no matter how much I did, I still had new tickets by the end of the day. I didn’t enjoy the continuous intensity of that sort of work.

A recruiter reached out to me via LinkedIn. I don’t expect these things to go anywhere, but he was tenacious, so I thought “OK, let’s meet with the hiring manager”. When I checked the meeting invitation, I saw Yanna’s name, which was a great surprise to me as I had worked with her in a previous role at the University of Westminster!

What are you currently working on?

We’re updating to Moodle 4.3 on the 16th of July. I’ve already done a lot of work documenting the Moodle plugins and LTIs that we’re currently using. Some of the plugins are very old, and I must determine which version of that plugin is compatible with Moodle 4.3. Once our service provider, Catalyst, makes the changes that we want, we’ll check that the plugins, LTI and configurations in the staging environment work as expected so we can proceed with the upgrade.

What are you excited to learn more about?

I’m exploring the developer path. I’d like to be able to figure out, by looking at the code, why a bug has occurred and potentially how to fix it. That’s a short-term goal. After that, I’d like to be able to write code for a plugin that will benefit our staff and students. I’m currently learning PHP (programming language for Moodle) a few hours each week.

Another goal is to not put pressure on myself to learn everything all at once. Understanding will take time, and that’s OK.

Quick-fire round!

Pizza or pasta?

Pizza. Pepperoni with garlic, red onions, mushrooms and maybe a few chillies.

Would you rather live in a haunted house or a house with no internet?

I’m going to say haunted house. It might be more fun, and running away from ghosts is good “exorcise”!

If money was no object, where would you go on holiday?

Cuba. I love latin dance, like salsa and bachata. Salsa originates from Cuba, so I would go there and dance on the beach until sunrise.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or watched recently?

I watched Ex-Machina recently. It’s a few years old but I enjoyed the thought-provoking nature of it. It’s also perhaps more relevant now than when it was originally released. It’s about a scientist testing whether an AI robot is conscious or not. As the audience, we’re also deciding if the AI is conscious, and probably everyone will draw their own conclusions by the end. I love movies like that.

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