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March 7, 2019

International Career as a Software Developer

Agata Piekut by Agata

Ola Trela-Radlak, Software Developer at Capgemini, shares with us tips about developing an international career as a software developer. And much more!

Out of so many career paths for developers why did you choose IT consulting?

I love creating stuffs since I was a child. During my childhood I spent a lot of time playing with LEGO bricks,  building houses in The Sims and constructing my own things.  At the end of high school, when time to choose field of study came, I decided to choose automation & robotics. I chose it, because I wanted to design new things. During my studies I had the opportunity to learn programming and I liked it very much. What I liked most about it was that I could quickly see the effect of my work and did not have to worry about hardware. I realized, that programming is the thing that I want to do and as a software developer I will never be bored at work.

How does your day/week on a project looks like in real time?

Every day at work is different. Sometimes you can work on the tasks assigned to you and do not worry about something else, some other time, when for example application suddenly stopped working you have to pull yourself together and fix the problem as soon as possible.

We work in groups that allow us to share knowledge and find the best solution for a given task. Everybody in the group can also count on help when needed.

Could you tell us more about the tools and methodologies with which you work?

Generally at work I use Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code. For version control, we use Git or TFS (the choice of the version control system depends on the project).  My project team works in sprints. This approach helps us to plan our work well. Every day, in the morning, my team has a short stand up meeting where everybody says about the progress of task he or she is working on.

What are the advantages of working in an international environment for a software developer?

Working in an international environment allows to improve and practice English. It teaches you to understand the accents of people from different countries. It also gives opportunity to discover other cultures and customs. Thanks to that, you could become aware of cultural differences which sometimes cause misunderstandings. What’s more, it could help you to build global network and gain many valuable contacts.

What would you advise a person who’d like to start a career in IT consulting in software development – on which languages and tools should they focus?

My advice is to choose programming language that is popular nowadays, such as C# or Java.

Thanks to that he or she could have easy access to various tutorials, articles and other staffs that could make learning programming simpler.  If someone prefers to work on application UI, I recommend to start learning JavaScript, CSS and HTML.  When he or she will gain some knowledge from these topics, the next step is to learn popular JavaScript framework, for example Angular or VueJs. If someone  doesn’t know what she or he wants to do, it’s good option to check and try – for instance such person could build two small application by using different languages to see the difference between them and then get to know what she or he likes more.

And do you have any tips for someone who wants to further develop their career into a senior role?

I recommend to work on different projects to gain as much experience as possible.  I also think that it’s very good option to work on your own project at home. Thanks to this, you can gain two things: learn new things and improve your portfolio. You could also start running your own programming blog where you could share your knowledge. If you think that writing articles is not for you, you can for example organize technical meeting for your colleagues to teach them something.

In Capgemini you work in Project & Consulting team. Could you share with us what it takes to work in IT consulting & project based environment?

Working as a software developer in Project & Consulting team at Capgemini Infra requires to have soft as well as technical skills. In addition to coding, sometimes it is necessary to take part in the meeting with customer to discuss project details. In P&C there are specialists experts in various fields. Thanks to this, if I  have any doubts related to a project, there is always someone who knows the answer for my question.

Furthermore, if you would like to develop in a specified path, it is always possible because there are many different opportunities.

All team members are very nice and friendly. Besides daily activities related to work itself, we always try to remember that it is the people we’re working with, that they create an environment that we want to come back daily. That’s why we’re trying our best to find some time to simply talk with each other, and if someone is interested, then we’re organizing board games session after work.

What is the most inspiring at your job in Capgemini?

For me the most inspiring thing is that my effort at work is always noticeable. In Capgemini, there are many different ways to develop, what is very important for any software developer. Employees are also encouraged to make different certificates. If you have any idea to do something, for example if you would like to organize IT meetings, you can always count on support from the company. Despite the fact that Capgemini is a very large company, but you always feel valuable in it.

What kind of competencies are needed to work effectively in your Capgemini team?

You have to want to develop and learn new things, because projects require to have knowledge from new technologies and available solutions. Generally we work in teams (3-4 members), so you must also be able to cooperate with other people. It is also mandatory to know English at communication level. In Capgemini sometimes it is necessary to talk with customer from abroad.  English is also needed to talk to some of your colleagues.

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