Job Title: Software Engineer
Type of Company: I work for a large government-sponsored agency.
Education: BS, Computer Science
Previous Experience: I started with basic data-entry, moving my way up to a job as senior database developer for a large local company.
Job Tasks: I am responsible for developing and maintaining corporate databases in my company. These corporate databases include the timecard system and room reservation systems. These systems are used by the company's general population in their every day work day and have to be in good working order.
My typical day consists of analyzing fixes to the system, meeting with team members to discuss the status of a task or status of a new release we are all working o,n as well as actually working on these fixes in a development database environment. Frequently the development halts if there is an issue with the production systems.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the working environment and the people I work with. Management is very supportive and wants to make sure we have the tools needed to complete our tasks.
The worst part of the job is the deadlines and the pressure to get things done: to get something developed, tested and working into the production system.
Job Tips: If you wanted to pursue database development or even software development, the best advice I can give is find a mentor. Find someone who is at a higher level than you who knows what you need to know and who can spend some time with you. This was critical in my career. I found a few people who I was able to learn from in the companies that I worked for and found it to to be extremely valuable. You can't just learn something from a book or even a class. You have to apply it and discuss it with others.
Additional Thoughts: There is not just one main personal quality that would prepare you for work in the software industry. You do need to be patient with people, for one thing. You will encounter many different personalities in your career and will be required to deal with them. Also appear ambitious. You won't always be very busy and your days will vary so learn what you can when you have the chance.
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