Job Title: Development Specialist
Type of Company: The company I work for is a medical software company. We provide software to hospitals, medical offices, home health and long term care facilities in all departments such as emergency department, labs, admissions and general financials.
Education: AS, Management BS, Computer Information Systems
Previous Experience: I previously worked as a customer training specialist for automotive software for 10 years. I then switched career paths and started as an entry-level application programmer for a medical software company. I was then a programming supervisor before switching career paths again and working as a development specialist.
Job Tasks: On a regular basis, I do software testing or quality control testing. This could be for fixing existing issues, new enhancements to the software or design omissions. After the development programmers code the fixes or enhancements, it's my responsibility to test the software and make sure that the software does what it's suppose to do.
However, this is not my only responsibility. I'm also a mentor to new hires in our group. This involves training newer members to our group on our day-to-day responsibilities as well as general company guidelines.
In addition, I enter design proposals, conduct design meetings between the different departments, divisions and applications to ensure that facets of a new design is considered and addressed.
I'm currently involved in the design of an application that controls edits to multiple facilities by a single entry. This saves time and resources and allows for standardization. We currently have software that does this but we are redesigning it on a different platform. This involves meetings with programmers, design analysts, managers and directors within the applications that I support as well as staff members throughout the company that may be effected by our design.
I design the screen layouts, present the screens to a core team, we re-evaluate and make changes. Sometimes, we have to start from scratch with the design after meeting with the technical group. It can be a long a tedious process, but very rewarding when the end product is done and working as designed.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is when I find issues with the code and I get to send it back to the programmers. This shows that I'm doing what I'm suppose to be doing and ensuring that we deliver bug free software. In addition, when enhancements to the system and your suggestions become reality, it's a wonderful feeling.
The worst part of the job is when there are deadlines to be met and not everyone on your team has completed their part. It's frustrating when you're waiting on other groups to complete work so that you can continue.
Job Tips: It's important to pay attention to detail. Being a team player and being willing to help others so that the team will meet the deadline shows managers that you know how to get the job done. Time management and being organized are also beneficial skills. But most importantly, try to learn a little bit about each group's responsibility so that you'll have a better understanding of what needs to be done.
Additional Thoughts: Having some technical (programming) background as well as application usage really made me a strong development specialist.
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