Intrigued by the underwater challenges and possibilities
Software Engineer Edvard Vasdal started his career working with terrestrial communication systems but was intrigued by the challenges posed by underwater communication. Fortunately for us, he finally decided to take the plunge and is now a highly valued member of our Embedded Expert Group.

How did you initially cross paths with Water Linked?

I first encountered Water Linked as a grad student in Cybernetics and Robotics attending the NTNU Ocean Week in 2019. Water Linked were demonstrating their Underwater GPS at Brattørkaia in Trondheim and one of their employees turned out to be an acquaintance of mine. I found the demonstration of underwater positioning to be very interesting, and something I wanted to learn more about despite having no former experience with it.

After completing my master’s degree I ended up moving with my girlfriend to Oslo where I worked as a Development Engineer for 1,5 years before we decided to come back to Trondheim when she got a job offer here. At the time, Water Linked were hiring and I didn’t hesitate to apply for the position as a Software Engineer. Luckily, I got the job and have been with the company since then.

How has the Water Linked experience been for you so far?

When I started my career at Water Linked the company had already established a solid core technology which they were scaling up and adapting to new products covering new usage areas. And a lot more exciting stuff has happened since then.

I am proud of the fact that we have made advanced underwater sensor technology accessible to new niche markets. And it really excites me to work on the unique challenges that underwater data transmission presents. It requires specialized solutions that go beyond conventional communication methods used in above-water environments, and raises a demand for high quality equipment with excellent performance in order to achieve successful communication. Being able to meet these requirements and demands is highly motivating, both for me personally and for us as a team.

I just love being part of this experience; developing new products and seeing them working out great for our customers. Seeing our office get expanded, renovated and better adapted to our needs. And of course also to see new people enter the company and start filling their roles as the company is growing in line with the market's demand for our products. 

What does a day in the office look like for you?

People arrive in the office at different times in the morning, but most of us are here by 9am. In my position there are relatively few emails and meetings, but most mornings I have a brief sit-down with my closest team members to recap project status and sort out the next priorities.

The rest of the work day I mainly work on software development, programming for the product we are developing or improving. I write and maintain product documentation, verifying that each product meets the stated requirement specifications. Most of the product testing is performed in the wet lab at our office, but some days I also get to do some real fieldwork; testing our solutions at sea, operating ROVs or carrying out installations with one of our customers.

I am part of the Embedded Expert Group, but we all sit quite near each other which makes it easy to collaborate across teams. Actually, we even have an open door policy even with the management. So I always have someone to confer with whenever I need to, and it is just great to spar with the other teams and get a broader understanding of how we all are contributing to solving the challenges together. 

What career advice would you give to recent graduates embarking on their professional journey?

I would definitely advise them to be curious and to eliminate the fear of failing in order to dare trying out new things. It is better to try and fail 100 times than not daring to try at all. Every time you fail you learn new things from your experience, bringing you one step closer to success. So the key is to learn and improve, and never to give up. 

I would also advise them to start determining what their dream job is, to find the criterias their job needs to meet. As an example; for me, one of these criterias is to be able to develop and learn new things in my job. 

If you are curious, have a positive attitude and a clear vision of what you want to do, opportunities will come your way. And when they do, embrace them to get that hands-on experience that allows you to grow professionally and gets you started on building a career doing what you are passionate about.  

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From grad to principal engineer in 4 years
A project assignment turning into a master’s thesis eventually also led to a permanent position at Water Linked for Andreas Tesaker. He has recently assumed a role as Principal Engineer, an opportunity that allows him to continue his professional growth in an environment simmering with entrepreneurial energy.
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