Programmer/Software developer | Youth Central

Name: Sophanna
Age: Early 20s
Works for: Flexible Drive Agencies

“With ICT every day's a challenge. You're always using your brain."

Sophanna naturally thinks outside the box and is never happier than when modifying household gadgets. From remote control cars to hi-fi systems, he likes to add extra features and push the object’s boundaries. When not modifying his mum’s toaster, Sophanna likes to fish and camp with friends and family.

Tell us what you do for work, Sophanna.

I’ve been working full time for Flexible Drive Agencies since the start of 2007. We manufacture and import a wide range of automotive products such as cables and industry parts. Our product range is pretty diverse and is used in many different applications from motorbikes through to tractors, bulldozers and agricultural harvesters. Our clientele is diverse too, supplying everyone from the Australian Navy to Kenworth Trucks. We also have created Rain Haven - a range of slim line domestic rainwater tanks. The company’s head office is in Melbourne with branches in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Your title is Program and Software Developer. What does that mean?

I work alongside a senior programmer producing software packages tailored for the company. Right now I’m redeveloping and converting the old DOS based system into a new Windows software package, adding extra user-friendly features.

What does your job entail on a day-to-day basis?

A good part of my day is spent programming. At present I’m converting the company’s financial and inventory system to Windows, which is a great challenge. I also spend a lot of time talking with other staff members - finding out their needs and helping them out with any of their computer queries.

What skills did you need for this job?

The main skills necessary are the ability to program and to problem solve. Good communication skills and being able to work well within a team are also very important.

What do you like about your job?

Definitely the problem solving. I enjoy applying knowledge and then looking forward to the outcome. With ICT every day's a challenge. You're always using your brain.

ICT. Where did it all begin for you?

At school I was always interested in computers so I headed off to do a Bachelor of Computer Science at Victoria University. The third year was an industry-based year, which I spent here at Flexible Drive Agencies. I was actually granted a scholarship through the Victorian Government, my university and the company. When I graduated they asked me to stay on and work for them fulltime, which was great.

What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in ICT?

ICT is very broad. There are many different paths that you can take. Find what comes naturally - what areas you're good at and then pursue them.

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