David, early 30s
This role requires familiarity with a variety of programming languages that are adaptable across different operating systems and environments. A Software Developer/Programmer analyses and interprets specifications, technical designs and flow charts, develops, maintains and tests the code of software applications, constructs technical specifications and documents from functional business models and is involved in customer implementation and support.
What's the average salary?
$65,297, based on 2-3 years of relevant IT experience.
What do you do?
I develop and maintain sports-statistics related products.
Describe an average day?
We plan the workload from week to week according to what needs to happen to meet client deadlines. On Mondays I usually spend most of the day in meetings to discuss and plan the work and any outstanding issues. Then I write the code that is required for the week and this takes up the next three days. We run a full system test on Thursdays ready for the weekend AFL games. Friday includes any last minute fixes, distribution of the software and preparation for the next week.
What technology skills are necessary in your job?
Bachelor of Applied Science (Computer Science). To do my job, you need to have the ability to work with numbers. The ability to communicate is very important as well as I have to deal with clients as part of my work.
How did you get to where you are?
I've been in this role for six months now. A current employee recommended me to the managing director as a person who would probably be of use to them as an employee. While it was a struggle for a few weeks to get into a morning routine, I really enjoy being in the workforce. I started University as a mature-age student and was competing for entry-level positions with people 10 years younger then myself.
What made you decide on a career in IT?
I'm actually a sports-statistics fan, especially in cricket. The appeal in this job was that I'd get to perform my hobby and get paid for it.
What do you like about your job?
The fact I get to make a difference in a field that I enjoy. One of the programs I have built drives the on-air graphics for AFL TV broadcasts. The biggest thrill I got was seeing my work go live to air over national TV. I'm a regular reader/contributor to several programming forums on the web. This helps me keep up with this fast moving industry.
Where do you see your career going next?
Unsure at this stage, hoping to stay in this industry.
What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in IT?
Have something to show. One of the things that helped get me the job was that I was able to present several projects/programs I had made myself that demonstrated my ability. Make sure you have a passion for this area. Be prepared to work hard to get where you want to go. The IT industry is vast in the areas you can go into. Do a bit of research first to find which area you think you would be best suited to.
The ideal candidate possesses a combination of skills and experience in a variety of areas. Below is a list of the most commonly sought after skills, with highly sought after examples listed in brackets. This list is meant as a guide only.
- Knowledge of object oriented programming languages (eg. Java, C++, Visual Basic)
- Knowledge of operating systems (eg. MS.Net)
- Knowledge of relational databases (eg. Oracle)
- Knowledge of database technologies (eg. SQL)
- Knowledge of web services (eg. XML)
- Knowledge of web server technology (eg. SQL Server)
- Knowledge of development platform (eg. J2EE)
- Knowledge of web related technologies (eg. HTML)
- Team oriented
- Ability to succeed under pressure
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Hands-on approach
- Attention to detail
- Proactive approach
- Problem solving skills
- Methodical approach
Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).