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May 24, 2019

How to build a career as a software developer?

Agata Piekut by Agata

An interview with Brygida Fiejdasz and Natalia Krause, software developers from Capgemini.

Brygida Fiejdasz, Software Developer

What’s your academic background? How did your career in IT started?
It is an interesting question because I didn’t graduate from Computer Science. I have graduated Biomedical Engineering on Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice. When I started my studies, I didn’t think about programming or another informatics stuff. I started my programming adventure from C# language in the very first year of my studies. After few programming classes I discovered that programming is very exciting and gives me fun. I started my career in a small company where I was offered a job after completing my internship.

What was your professional experience when you applied to Capgemini? What was your first role?
Capgemini is the fourth company I work for. When I applied to Capgemini I had over five years of experience mainly in .NET technology, but also in Angular and mobile technology. I took position of regular .NET Software Developer.

What motivated you to apply to Capgemini? And what motivates you now, that you’ve been working here for half a year?
I’ve decided to change my previous job because I was looking for a new opportunity to learn, new challenges and experienced people from whom I would gain knowledge and I wanted to work with new technologies. All these things are offered to me by Capgemini. I work with young, creative, ambitious people in a great atmosphere. We have a lot of opportunities to share knowledge both in our team and for people outside of the company. We have started a new initiative of workshops on which we will present various issues related to programming. It gives me the opportunity to test myself as a speaker, because my colleague and I plan to conduct workshops on the basics of Angular.

What is the methodology and technology that you implement most in your work? What a candidate for a position in your team should know about them?
Mostly I use Angular and .Net Core in my work. The current project I am working on is based on them. We are trying to keep frameworks versions up to date. Knowledge in these two areas will let you build fully working modern application. Knowing technology is not everything. Beginning developer should also gather information about best practices & design and architecture patterns.

Can you share with us some tips when can we learn more about it and practice? Any online resources?
Nowadays we have a lot of different ways from where we can get programming knowledge. I don’t prefer one way to gain knowledge. It depends on the issue. I like to read specialist books and articles, but also watch online trainings on Pluralsight or Udemy portals. There are also IT conferences being organized, where you can learn about new tools, solutions etc. But as you already know, developers learn the most at work or when they are creating new projects for themselves.

Are there any certificates that you have and recommend?
Currently, the most important certificate for me is Angular in Space course certificate. For now, I believe that this is one of the best training on this matter. In the nearest feature I plan to pass one of Microsoft exam, because my company helps with it.

What are your plans for further career development?
I would like to focus my attention on frontend development without forgetting about my developer base which is C# with .Net Framework. In the future I would like to become senior developer by enlarging my knowledge.

What has been your most exciting project till now?
In my developer career I was participating in a lot of wide range of projects because of that I was able to gain a lot of experiences in different areas and notice differences. Although my career is not so long, I was a part of many interesting projects and it is difficult to choose only one.

Why would you recommend Capgemini as a workplace?
I believe that Capgemini is good employer for many reasons. The most important ones are flexible work hours, working with new technologies, opportunity to develop soft and hard skills, working with creative and experienced people.

Natalia Krause, Junior Software Developer

What’s your academic background? How did your career in IT start?
Originally (after High School) I graduated from university with two higher education degrees: bachelor’s in Mathematics and bachelor’s in Economics – I was studying these two at the same time. After three years, I decided that I would like to try myself in IT and see a future for myself there, so I started from the beginning and became a first year student of Computer Science. Now I am a happy owner of another title: engineer’s degree in Computer Science.

What was your professional experience when you applied to Capgemini? What was your first role?
When I applied to Capgemini I was after my first internship in another IT company. I also had a few of non-commercial projects but these were rather basic – nothing special, I haven’t had great experience. In November 2018 I started working in Capgemini as an Intern. Now I’ve been here for 7 months and I work as Junior Software Developer.

What motivated you to apply to Capgemini? And what motivates you now, when you’ve been working here for some time now?
After my first internship, I was motivated to continue with career development. I’ve already had the sneak-peek of working in IT and I liked this idea a lot, so I immediately started looking for a new job and I ended up here in Capgemini. I think that result is due to my skills, luck and good people I met on my path, mixed all together. I am a task-oriented person – I like working that way, it brings me joy and fulfillment, so this is what motivates me. When I am challenged by the project I work on, I can gain new skills and knowledge in a pretty straight and harmless way.

What is the methodology and technology that you implement most in your work? What a candidate for a position in your team should know about them?
My programming language is C# and recently I have worked mostly with .NET Core and Angular. It is really hard to say what exactly the candidate for my position should know and I don’t think I am the person to judge yet, but I believe that the fact that you have been hired for some job is not only the matter of hard skills. It is a bit of luck, a dash of confidence, partially the people you have met on your interview and/or your personality. In my opinion the important thing is to remember that if you’re not getting some position, it doesn’t mean that you are unskilled and unprofessional. It just means that people you met in those specific circumstances and narrowed environment didn’t choose you for that job. But I am sure that there are plenty of others who would.

Can you share with us some tips when can we learn more about it and practice? Any online resources?
Personally, I am a big fan of reading, also professionally, so I always recommend those who want to learn some technology from the beginning, to find an old school, fat, chunky book and read it from cover to cover. Of course technology changes on a daily basis, so sometimes it’s not possible but you can try it. Other tip, in my opinion worth mentioning, is to learn how to find things. Maybe it sounds funny, but I think I can say that the most important skill I got in my first IT job, was how to find answers I was looking for. Junior’s job is mostly about learning new things all the time and in my opinion without ability of searching the Internet for them, you’re not going to make it. Benefits of this skill are also not being the most annoying coworker ever 😊 but also, more important, making an impression that you are self-driven and can be relied on.

Are there any certificates that you have and recommend?
I don’t have any, maybe I will have some in the future, but I have to mention that most of the professionals I’ve met advised me to care about the knowledge and skills I have on daily basis, because after all, that’s what counts at the end of the day.

What are your plans for further career development?
I am at the beginning of my professional career, so I have a lot to think about. For now, I know that I want to be a software developer, because I really like this job and that one day I would like to become an expert.

What has been your most exciting project till now?
Some could say that developers working on really interesting projects are lucky and rare (I’ve heard this opinion a lot), but for me it’s different. From where I am standing, every other project is an opportunity to learn new things, gain some knowledge, have pleasure to meet new people and know some new stuff. I’ve changed my attitude from: “a lot of new things I’ve never done before – I’m scared, I don’t want to do it” to “a lot of new things I’ve never done before – I’m good enough, skilled enough and smart enough to be the person to deliver”.

Why would you recommend Capgemini as a workplace?
As I said earlier, when I was applying for a job in Capgemini I didn’t know much, but I met these smart, creative and kind people who saw something in me and trusted me and I will be always grateful for it. In my team I have an opportunity to work with wonderful individualities skilled not only in IT stuff – they have many other interests and advantages, they are polite and thoughtful, helpful and nice. I can’t even say how much I admire them, like them and how much I appreciate possibility of learning from them. If I wouldn’t be here now, I should have deeply regret not knowing my team. It’s the people, what makes the place.

Do you want to start or advance your career in IT? Check these recruitment tips from Capgemini:

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