What is your current role and how did you get your job?
I was initially hired by Workday as an intern, which was part of my co-op placement in the University of Limerick. My internship lasted 9 months. Before I left to go back to college, I was offered a full-time position here for when I finished college. I have been a Software Development Engineer within the Data Services team at Workday for a year now.
My role involves working with my team and department to provide tools to shorten the Workday implementation process for new customers.
I might be a new developer, but my questions are given the time they deserve by my peers, and more importantly, my opinions are respected and I am given a lot of responsibilities.
What technical skills are at the core of what you do every day?
In my role, you need to have a strong grasp of the standards of the languages such as Java, Scala, and XpressO, which is our proprietary language.
The more complex tasks come in when you, as a developer, take a step back to view the features as part of the bigger, overall picture. Being to take this broader view of my work is definitely something I am developing.
What tech trends have you observed since joining Workday and how important is it to keep learning?
Workday isn’t afraid of using the latest technology to achieve its goals. It’s important for you, as a developer, to be aware of these technologies - this could be as simple as playing around with a sample project initially. If you believe that your team will benefit from using a technology, then make a case for it. We are encouraged to think how things can be improved.
Workday have a great focus on helping set personal development strategies and my manager takes the time to work with me on improving my skills. I am currently working towards more experience in product design and architecture.
The current project I’m working on has been my biggest challenge to date. I’ve had to get up to speed on new frameworks, new processes and Workday’s own in-house language. This project has also allowed me to upskill across a range of key areas such as project management, communication, knowledge transfer and how to take ownership of key areas within a greater project plan.
The Generation Workday programme has also helped develop these skills, which are important to prepare for the future. As I move from junior to more senior roles these skills will be useful in conjunction with the support and guidance of more experienced team members.
What advice would you have for students or graduates who are serious about a job in technology?
I think it’s really important to know the basics/fundamentals of programming, e.g. for Java it would be the OO principles and a solid knowledge of design patterns. Always keep on learning.
Show employers that this is what you love to do. This can be as simple as having a portfolio on GitHub or a personal website, basically anything that demonstrates you enjoy working in this industry outside of just your studies.
Be a team player - the most technically skilled person in the world could be the worst fit for a role if they aren’t willing to work as part of a team. At the end of the day, you and your team will be working towards a common goal so it’s important that you work together.
Pick a company with a great culture matching your values. Workday is a very friendly environment with lots of events and social gatherings that help you relax and get to know other people. We attended Dublin LGBTQ Pride this year and the whole workplace was involved and showed their support for a great cause.