6 years and counting
Because of a lifelong interest in aviation I decided to study Aeronautical Engineering at Queens University. After graduating I realised the one thing I had learned was that I didn’t want to do engineering any more. I looked for an alternative and I discovered that Queens did a Computer Science Masters conversion course which I applied for and enjoyed very much. After that I ended up working for a number of years in the Computer Science department at Queens as a Teaching Associate. There I designed and taught the practical component of various undergrad and postgrad modules.
I enjoyed working there but I made the decision to have a career change when the university made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and I moved over to software development. I was employed by a couple of small software houses closer to home in Coleraine working on web based information management systems and bespoke windows form applications.
In 2014 I was considering a change in employment and started looking at positions available. I was already aware of Covernet having applied for a job there way back in 2006. I saw they were looking for a developer so I applied through a recruiter.
The first stage was to go into the Coleraine office for a technical test which took an hour. The next day I heard from the recruiter and was told I had been invited to an interview a week or so later. The interview was also in the Coleraine office and was very relaxed and friendly. If I recall correctly I was offered the job the next day. The whole process took between two and three weeks.
The first thing I do after logging in is to check through the emails that have arrived since the previous end of day. These could include job tracker messages from customers or support requests that have been assigned to me. There are also automated emails generated by our overnight programs and any errors will need to be investigated.
Since we have been working at home we have a daily video conference call to catch up with any announcements and find out what the team is doing. Then I’ll get to work on my current project while also responding to any support requests or queries through the working day.
Most of the projects I have worked on tend to be within the remit of the integration department and involve importing data from or exporting data to external systems. Each project can be very different from the last one so there can be a lot of variety to the work which I enjoy. It can be very satisfying developing a new program from scratch and seeing it through to deployment.
It probably helps that I enjoy learning new things as with software development there are always new things to learn. Also it helps if you find yourself working with the right people.
I have enjoyed reading since my teenage years, the end result of which is that I own too many books. I’m also a big film fan, which provides me with the odd skill of being able to identify which actors were in movies I haven’t actually seen.
I’ve been a tea drinker all my life. I drank coffee occasionally but it took me a long time to realise I didn’t actually like it. Which is the answer to another question but you can pick any three words you want from that.