We spoke with Tom, who is a Software Developer. You can learn even more about Software Engineers and Designers through our detailed Career Profiles.
What does an average day look like for you?
I tend to start my day by spending some time planning for what I want my day to be and then get a little work done before our daily morning meeting over Zoom. We have our scrum where I discuss the work I did the day before. Then I work on whatever tasks I have. Tasks depends on where on release cycle we are. Normally, this involves making changes to the software. I also mentor Junior Developers. I talk to my coworkers over Slack and discuss problems in the software or what direction we want the code base to go in so it’s more maintainable and easier to work in.
Why and when did you choose this career?
I chose this career sometime in high school. I enjoy computers and problem solving and this seems like a good combination of the two. Also, this is a career where self-directed learning is highly prized and it’s something I enjoy.
What was your education/training? Any additional training for your current position?
Computer Science degree from University of Windsor. I spent time in other parts of the company learning about the product and the industry that it serves. No direct training for my current job, just learning how the industry and software works.
What is the best part of your job?
Finding difficult to track down problems and satisfaction that I effectively found a needle in a haystack and solved a problem that may have been there for years.
I have the freedom to solve the problems in front of me whichever way I want. I can solve those problems most of the time in what I think is the best way for the longevity of the software.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned on the job?
The obvious solution isn’t always the best one. Spending time thinking about the reasons why a problem exists is more important than fixing the specific problem.
What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing the career?
Understanding principles and common patterns and why things tend to be the way they are is more important than understanding any specific language or specific software you’re going to be working on. Base principles are going to apply to everything. You can learn new software, language, code base, but if you don’t understand the principles, it’s not useful to learn anything else.
How would you say COVID-19 has affected your day-to-day work? ie, job duties, commute, check-in process etc.
For the most part, it’s the same. I don’t have to go as far to get to my computer. Overall, the biggest change is that I interact with my team a little less on a personal basis, which probably isn’t for the best. I still have check-ins with my manager, etc. all on the same schedule as before, it’s just now over Zoom.
What has it been like to be an Essential Worker during a world-wide pandemic? Has your workplace added additional safety measures?
We have the ability to work from home. The company decided to take advantage of that and maintain operations while keeping everyone socially distant. If I were to go into the workplace, I’d have to request access to the workplace first and follow the process there.
Could you touch on how being an essential worker during the pandemic has made this more personally fulfilling career?
The pandemic has made me realize how lucky I am to have the flexibility of working from home with little impact on my day to day process. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given.
Thank you Tom for the interview!
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