Brianna Bailey | 16 September 2020
I’m often approached by Juniors and Graduates questioning how to do exactly that. So, I’ve reached out to my network of acclaimed leaders within the IT community for advice for you, straight from the top.
To kick off my mini blog series, I’ve interviewed Silvio Montanari, the Principal Engineer at Greensync. He was kind enough to share an insight into his life, career and some fantastic tips for the Juniors and Graduates out there looking to take the first step in their career.
I'm a software engineer with more than two decades of professional experience across several countries and markets between Europe, North America and Australia. I split my career between traditional software houses, multinational consulting firms and, in recent years, start-ups. I'm very passionate about software craftsmanship, test automation and lean thinking.
My day to day is a mix of meetings and team work. I work closely with Product to define the development strategy and a corresponding technology roadmap. Planning and prioritising is a critical responsibility in my job; so is technical leadership, therefore I'm often involved in hands on work, especially if it requires designing and implementing new solutions.
Working with new technologies is always an exciting part of the job. However, at this stage of my career, I get the most satisfaction from being able to use my experience and knowledge to help a team or an individual improve and ultimately succeed.
Provide practical evidence of their level of expertise as well as their enthusiasm for technology. For example, a University project where they had to use a programming language to implement a solution or a prototype. Or, more broadly, open source active involvement, whether creating their own project or contributing to others.
Motivation, enthusiasm and determination. I want to see them interviewing for an opportunity to take a step into their dream career, not for a monthly pay check. Also, humility and adaptability; despite any prior accomplishments, junior candidates should be aware their most important goal is still to learn and get better.
I often notice how many engineers (and not only Juniors) fall in love with complexity, as they feel the quality of a solution to be somewhat proportional to its difficulty. There is a fine line between over-engineering and YAGNI, and only experience enables developers to walk it confidently.
Assuming they have the opportunity to work with more senior colleagues, they can expect to dramatically improve their technical skills and become significantly more confident in taking on increasingly difficult tasks. Depending on the context of the business, they can also expect to experience what it means to work under pressure, where inevitably they will end up making mistakes. And making mistakes, although not ideal, is always the most effective way to learn.
I think in the next 5 years we should start seeing signs of the inevitable decline of traditional, monolithic, server centric applications, and the big fat frameworks associated with that technical approach. At the same time, we should see the unequivocal rise and validation of mesh service and serverless architectures, along with better tooling and deployment solutions.
Take more risks when picking a job, leave the safer choices for the latter stages of your career
1# Continuous improvement mentality across the board: you can always do, and be, better; not just as a developer, but also as a person.
2# Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out of your comfort zone, that is when you learn the most.
3# Take the time to learn the history of computers and programming. Modern technologies are based on the foundations laid by previous ones. They're not better, they're just more efficient, but the principles are the same
I’d like to thank Silvio for his time, support and fantastic advice for those trying to take the next step in their career. If you are keen to hear more, stay tuned as I’ll be announcing our next speaker soon!
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