Career Insight: Senior Software Developer (Railway company)
In a nutshell, what do you do?
Support and develop enhancements for enterprise software systems.
Why did you decide to become a Software Developer?
I enjoy working with computers and learning about new technology.
What path did you take into it? ?
I studied music and then got into writing music software and decided to do further study in IT (programming), after which I was taken on as a graduate with a company (finance industry).
What, in your opinion, is the best bit of being a Software Developer?
Challenging role, some flexibility in working hours and prioritising own work, financially rewarding. Exposure to new technology.? Also, I was able to travel and work overseas in the IT industry.
Every job has its downsides. What do you think are the worst bits??
Out of hours support of IT systems, eg. fixing problems at 3am. (I do 1 week in 3 on-call). Pressure when there are approx. 600 users of our IT system across the country depending on our team of 3 to get the system working again. System changes that have to be done over weekends.
Is it what you expected when you first started out – and what’s different??
What do the public least understand – or mistake – about what you do? ?
The size and scale of large computer systems and complexity of changing inter-dependent systems.
What kind of people tend to do well?
Dedication, hard work, analytical/problem solving. Also communication skills are important.
Finally, any advice you’d offer to people looking to get into this line of work??
There are many different computer languages (Java, Microsoft C#, PHP, SQL etc.), many people ask “which language to study?”. Each language provides different tools and ways of building computer software, so you need to gain knowledge of several languages that can be applied to different situations, as well as specialising in a couple of languages.
The game is constantly changing so be prepared to keep doing research and study to keep up with current trends.