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Software Developer Uses Technical Hardware Knowledge to Excel

Considered working as a Software Developer? This interview will take you through the ups and downs you can expect in the position, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more. This is a true career story as told to ComputerJobs.net and is one of many interviews with IT professionals which among others include a Software Analyst and a Network Administrator.

What is your job title and what industry do you work in? How many years of experience do you have in this field?
I have more than 4 years of experience working for a delivery services company as a Software Developer and Computer Technician. As a software developer, I was responsible for building a web-based system to process financial transactions. I designed and developed this new application, from scratch, for the company using my knowledge of the technical aspects of its services. As a Computer Technician, I provided the company with technological equipment repair services, including maintenance services; I also assisted the company in the acquisition and update of equipment and software applications. This experience has made me a very organized and detail oriented professional.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your job satisfaction? What might need to change about your job to unleash your full enthusiasm?
I was so happy to work as a Software Developer and a Computer Technician because I spent 5 years in college to obtain my degree in Computer Engineering. So, if I had to rate this experience, I would say 10 because it gave me an opportunity to gain great experience.

If this job moves your heart – how so? Ever feel like you found your calling or sweet spot in life? If not, what might do it for you?
Since I studied Computer Engineering for 5 years, I was very excited to work as a Software Developer and Computer Technician. I had a great time developing software applications because I could use what I studied; it felt so good to see that I could use all my potential professionally. The part about Computing technology was something that I always loved about this job. I was always very curious about electronics, so I took some computer certification courses and I became a licensed Computer Technician. With this job, I could practice skills as both a technician and a developer so I think that I really found my sweet spot in life.

Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments?
I think that my previous experience as a Computer Technician helped me to get this position. The company really liked the idea of having an employee who could work for both departments, Software Development as well as repair and maintenance services.

How did you get started in this line of work? If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change?
A friend of mine told me that his company had several openings, and he took me one day to the main office to speak with the director of the company. After a few hours, the director told me to have everything ready because he really saw my potential and eagerness to work hard and succeed -- I was hired!

What did you learn the hard way in this job and what happened specifically that led up to this hard-learned lesson?
I was very lucky to have such an easy time working in that company that I always smile when I remember it. Maybe that company was providing the best place to work, making it easy for employees. And that meant a lot because having a hard time at work is something that I really do not appreciate.

What is the single most important thing you have learned outside of school about the working world?
I think that the most important thing that I have learned outside of school about the working world was the interaction with other co-workers. The way to interact with co-workers is totally different than working with classmates and teachers.

What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you in this job?
My worst day at work was when two computers caught on fire; during a storm that flooded the warehouse underneath the office. When I saw the flames coming out of the computers, I got very scared. Luckily the fire went out immediately and nothing bad happened.

Why do you get up and go to work each day? Can you give an example of something that really made you feel good or proud?
What makes me feel most proud about this type of work is the fact that I can see my applications work. Being able to see a web-based application running from my computer at home makes me feel very good about myself. In reference to the work as a Computer Technician, projects are shorter but it always feels great to see a computer working after you rebuild it from an horrid state.

What kind of challenges do you handle and what makes you really want to pull your hair out?
Working with computers is a rewarding challenge for me. Fixing computers is something that makes me feel great because, behind each computer, there is a person is hoping to see it working again. And I always wanted to fix what people see as impossible to repair. Developing software, on the other hand, is like writing creating a story. So I really enjoy this aspect as well because it allows me to express my creativity.

How stressful is your job? Are you able to maintain a comfortable or healthy work-life balance?
This field is not without its share of stress. Sometimes applications can be very difficult to manage since they must be compatible. I also had to bring work home very often and I know that nearly half of my co-workers were bringing their work home. Many said that work really interfered with their family life and that it was very difficult to keep a healthy work-life balance.

What’s a rough salary range for the position you hold? Are you paid enough and/or happy living within your means?
I was making roughly $150,000 a year including bonuses and benefits; this should be what most companies offer, in my opinion, because these positions are essential for the company to function.

How much vacation do you take? Is it enough?
I had a month of vacation and a few weeks of time off from national holidays. I probably could have asked for more days off, as well, because I used to work overtime very often.

What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field?
I assume that holding a college degree in Computer Science is a basic requirement. But I also suggest to take some other classes related to computing like I did, because my license as a Computer Technician is something that employers really like to see on a resume.

What would you tell a friend considering your line of work?
I would say that this is a great job, and if I had a friend thinking about this career, I would tell him to do it because it is really a fascinating line of work.

If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years?
I always wanted to start up my own business and something computer related would probably be the best option. I would love to be able to open a software development company; because I always loved the idea of getting together with other developers to share ideas.
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