What's your job about?
I am employed as a Junior Software Developer at Re-Leased, an “Automated, Intelligent Commercial Property Management Software” company, located in Ahuriri, Napier. I work within the development engineering team, which is split into 6 squads, with each squad assigned to different projects. My day-to-day work consists of developing any tasks required for that sprint, unit testing any new or refactored code, peer reviewing others work or attending any required meetings.
What's your background?
I was born and mainly grew up in Palmerston North, New Zealand. We were always close to or within an army camp/town as my Dad is in the NZDF. My Mum earnt her Early Childhood teaching qualifications while raising my brother and I, so we were very lucky to have a great example of hard-working and nurturing parents.
I went to Palmerston North Girls’ High School for my secondary education and always had more of an interest in IT and maths compared to any other subject. However, school was not for me, and I ended up finishing school at Year 13 with only NCEA Level 2. Knowing how much I did not like school, I decided to work for a year. While earning money was great, I also knew if I wanted a better career in the future, I would likely have to gain some further education, I was just unsure of the path.
Since I did not achieve NCEA Level 3, I decided to do a year long foundation course at UCOL and then relocated to Auckland to try out a musical career path, completing a Certificate in Audio Engineering and Music Production at MAINZ. I was able to work a lot with computers in studios, mixing boards, MIDI keyboards and the different DAW software, which was awesome to experience. But this was a pretty niche career path and probably not the best choice for me as I was never 100% into it. I realise now, in hindsight, it was more of a reason for me to get out of Palmerston North (Haha!). I worked for a few more years, moved to Tauranga from Auckland, and then I finally decided to fully dive into IT. I moved to Hastings in 2018 and begun my Bachelor of Computing Systems at EIT. While having little to no experience in the IT industry, I surprised myself with the results I was able to achieve and have now successfully completed the degree.
Through the internship programme EIT offers in the third year, I was able to secure an internship at Re-Leased in November 2020 and now work here full time as a Junior Software Developer.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes, of course! Anyone who is committed to learning would be successful in this job. As a software developer, you are constantly learning. There is more than one way to tackle a problem and come up with the best solution. While you may not get things right the first time, there is lots of room for growth. Working in development is also not all about what you know, but how you are with others around you. Being personable is a major bonus to employers while also delivering on your job’s responsibilities.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
One of the coolest things about the job has been putting everything I have learnt during my BCS into real world practices. A big topic constantly brought up during the three years of the degree was Agile development. It has been awesome to experience all the benefits and apply agile practices through software development life cycles.
What are the limitations of your job?
While there are many advantages to a career in software development, there can be some downfalls, but this will come down to the individual person. A very common experience for any new developer is a phenomenon called ‘imposter syndrome’ where an individual will feel inadequate at their job, when really, others perceive you to be doing perfectly fine. I think this is common in software development as, like I have previously mentioned, we are constantly learning, which can be challenging. There are always new technologies to learn or updates to previous ones that require some change to your usual processes. To mitigate this, one must be up for the challenge and not afraid of failure. Win or learn!
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...