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Career Story: Application Engineer And Customer Service Supervisor For A Software Company

Application Engineer And Customer Service Supervisor For A Software Company

Job Title: Application Engineer - Team Lead

Type of Company: My company provides a software application that large companies and institutions use to manage all of their space, assets, work requests, projects budgeting and other financial reporting. The interface ties real assets in with AutoCAD drawings to allow users to see highlight reports such as employee locators and highlight all rooms by their assigned departments. The software is available as a Windows app but also comes in a web-based variant.

Education: BS, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Previous Experience: I started out as an electrical test technician at an aerospace company. I was quite bored at this job. I then found an opportunity to work as an application engineer for a small company that produced high tech inspection equipment for semi-conductor manufacturers.

Job Tasks: Working for a small company typically means you must wear a number of hats.

Hat 1 - As the team lead for customer service, I am responsible for the daily operations of the customer service department. I offer advice to team members when exceptionally difficult problems arise and also oversee their communication with customers to make sure the solutions or answers they provide are both accurate and well-written.

Hat 2 - My second hat is application engineer, which means I customize the software to meet the needs of specific companies. The software primarily displays the data contained in various database tables. Each table holds a specific type of data: the number of rooms, employees, work requests, projects equipment, and furniture. Our software provides a platform that I use to write custom views of this data using xml, html, JavaScript and occasionally JAVA. The views may be used to add new records to the database, edit existing records, or create reports.

Hat 3 - The third hat I wear is that of trainer. I teach a programming class that is geared towards those who also want to learn to write the custom web views (mentioned above) on the company's software platform. I sometimes teach these classes in our Boston office, and other times travel to other locations to teach at a customer's office.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of my job are the challenge and the variety. I enjoy every day because of the challenge of finding complex solutions to complex problems. I also enjoy the fact that every day is different, since I have a tendency to become bored by jobs that require the same mindless tasks every day. I also enjoy the travel, as I have gotten to see many great places on the company's expense, such as Milan, Italy, Marco Island, Florida, and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Job Tips: This kind of job requires both creativity and logic, so you must have a strong understanding of math as a foundation. Next a good understanding of programming languages is essential, as well as the concept of databases and how they store information. But the creativity is the best asset I have, since it is a rare commodity in a scientific world. Thinking outside of the box is a something lots of people talk about but not enough people can really do!

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