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Chris Perriam


Graduate Software Developer


Chris Perriam 

What is your current role/study progression and where are you located?

Hi All! I’m a Graduate Software Engineer located at the Auckland office. I started in mid January this year, fresh after completing a BSc (Computer Science) and BCom (Finance) at the University of Otago.


Which team do you belong to?

I’m currently working on the Amadeus product, which is the unified platform that Orion Health is positioning as the forefront of its precision medicine offering.


What does your usual day look like?

I usually arrive fairly early (about 7:45), which allows me to get one of the free Orion carparks and get a head start on the day. I grab some fruit from the crates (more on this later!), and head to the kitchen to make some breakfast. One of the awesome perks at Orion is the huge (and free!) breakfast selection, as well as the café-style espresso machine.

Next, I’ll review my work for the day. This includes checking emails, and seeing if my team has received any support requests overnight from our global customers. If there’s anything urgent, I’ll do a bit of background research on the issue so I can brief the team as soon as they arrive. 

At 9:30am we have our daily standup meeting, which runs for 15 minutes and gives everyone in the team a chance to report on what they are working on, and focusses on the objectives for the day. After the standup is usually a very productive time of day. Everyone is focused on the task at hand, and quite often people will be working collaboratively to help each other out. Everyone here is very approachable, and always has time to hear about an issue you might be having. If they can’t help you solve it, they’ll quickly point you to someone who can!

Lunchtime rolls around really quick, and I usually spend this catching up with the other grads and playing table tennis (a very important sport around here!)

Afternoons normally include at least one meeting, and lately my team has been taking part in a series of architecture discussions. These have been focused on the new feature my team will start developing soon.


Why did you choose to work at Orion Health?

Deciding on a career direction while still studying at University can certainly be a daunting task! However, from the outset, I tried to focus on my past experiences to understand what I enjoyed most.

For me, this was using technology to creatively solve problems. I wanted to get hands on experience working as a developer - building products that are really making a difference out there in the real world. In addition to this, I have a strong desire to work overseas, and a desire to bridge the gap between the development and implementation of software.

After researching all potential options, Orion Health seemed like a great fit for me. They are based in Auckland, but have a huge international footprint and are making a significant difference in their field. 

Also, there is enormous potential for the healthcare industry to take advantage of the latest technological advancements. I’d encourage people to take a look at the Precision Medicine Report on [SP1] the Orion Health website for an introduction to the cutting-edge initiatives that we are currently working on.


What is something cool you're working on currently? 

My team is currently in the planning stage for a new feature to enable new ways for third party developers to interact with Orion Health software. This project will be the first full major development cycle that I have experienced since joining Orion Health. It’s been really interesting to take part in the architecture discussions and work with many super-talented people from other development teams. 


Tell us about your favourite experience so far at Orion Health?

There are a few experiences that come to mind – going out for lunch at a great restaurant with my team was great fun, as was the frisbee tournament between everyone in Auckland R&D last week! My most fulfilling experience, however, was when I took ownership of a bug fix for the first time, and being able to design and implement the solution myself. It sure is reassuring when all those years of study start to pay off! 


What are you looking forward to most about working at Orion Health? 

Personally, I’m really excited by the diverse range of opportunities that are on offer here. After gaining some development experience, I’d be interested in moving into a more business-orientated role (and get some mileage out of my Finance degree!). I’d also be very keen to work overseas interfacing with our clients and making a difference on the front line. In my time here so far, I’ve certainly got the impression that the company will help me as much as possible to help me achieve this.

Also, I can’t wait to watch as our current product pipeline come to fruition, as well as see the full impact of precision medicine on the healthcare industry.


What makes Orion Health so unique?

The first thing that comes to mind is the way that everyone’s opinion matters - I’m constantly surprised by how much people are willing to listen to my ideas. This was especially apparent when I was encouraged to take the lead in an hour long team meeting, despite only having started work a few weeks earlier. I truly believe that Orion Health is a company that strives to live by it’s values of being Open, Trusted and Courageous.

Just recently, my division went through a reorganisation where the leadership wanted to realign the focus of the teams onto certain projects going forward. I was very surprised to hear that everyone in the division was going to have the chance to personally select what they would be working on. This process of having teams self-organise has meant that everyone is excited about their work and are in more cohesive teams.

Another unique aspect of Orion is the international exposure the company has. With over 20 offices [SP2] overseas offices and a vast number of global customers, there is a resounding feeling that you are working on software that has a widespread impact and will make a difference to peoples lives. 


Orion Health is focussed on the health and wellbeing of our employees. What is your favourite Wellbeing initiative so far? 

I’ve really been enjoying all the fruit that’s readily available at the office! There’s a great selection (replenished each morning), and it stops me snacking on unhealthy food.

Something else worth mentioning is Round the Bays, which was a fantastic event that I wouldn’t have taken part in if it wasn’t for Orion encouraging us along with free entry, food and a t-shirt.


Tell us something interesting about you?

Most people would be pretty surprised to hear that I’ve flown a full flight in a Boeing 737 training simulator unassisted. I have a passion for all things aviation and travel related, and it’s been a long standing goal of mine to get my pilots license so that I can fly recreationally.

I’m also a huge fan of Southeast Asian street food, so I’ve been pretty excited to hear of Orion Health’s growing presence in Vietnam!