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Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

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Claire Purcell, Software Engineer
Computers & ICT

Claire Purcell, Software Engineer

Claire Purcell is a software engineering intern. Her job involves writing and debugging code, as part of software development projects.

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Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

I always absolutely loved Maths and Science, so I chose quite early on in secondary school to study Undenominated Engineering in NUIG, as I wasn’t sure which branch of engineering would interest me the most. In first year, we tried out a bit of everything, and my favourite by far was the programming that we learned (C and Arduino). I found it so interesting and I then decided to pursue Electronic & Computer Engineering in second year.

Describe a typical day?

A typical day would be similar enough to any other company following the Agile way of working; stand ups in the morning to track everyone’s progress and give/receive support if needed, perhaps sprint planning or backlog grooming meetings (depending on what day of the sprint it is), and other than that I’d be spending my time coding and working on whatever project or task I’m doing at the time. I liaise with colleagues who may be working on a particular task or project with me throughout the day aswell, it’s an open plan office so this is quite easy to do quickly and efficiently.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

So far I have been working on a big enough project since I started working here in early January 2018, so the tasks I have been completing have all been based on that project; researching various things for it, writing and testing its code etc. My responsibilities mainly lie in furthering the project’s progress, and giving support to my teammates wherever I can and wherever it may be needed. Aside from the obvious communication and programming skills, I’ve been utilising a lot of research, data collection and data manipulation skills for the project aswell, which I’m sure will stand to me for my Final Year Project next year.

What are the main challenges?

Debugging code- your own mistakes are always the hardest to spot… but then again that’s a necessary part of any job in Software Development!

What's cool?

I love lots of things about my job, the friendly/laid-back environment, the people, the place, but most of all I love what I do! Writing code and having something to demo is such a satisfying feeling

What is your education to date?

Electronic & Computer Engineering in NUIG.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

Certainly a strong background in Maths in secondary school made it easier for me to learn how to programme in college, as it’s a fairly similar way of thinking (problem solving). The subject in my course which was/is of the most use to me in my job now is Programming. Anyone who has programmed before will tell you that the best way to learn it is by using it, so probably the most useful part of my education has actually been my work experience, both in an internship in Ericsson and in my current work placement

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

Yes I’m very happy with my lifestyle. My job is doing something that interests me every day, and Flexi-time allows me to continue doing things I love outside of work at times that suit me, like exercising and spending time with friends. There’s a really great atmosphere in my workplace and people are more like friends than work colleagues, and we have quite a relaxed, yet efficient working environment.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Take the time to get your head around the subjects. Sometimes it can be tempting to just learn off methods and exam questions to get a good degree but at the end of the day that won’t help you in industry. You may find then that you’re back at square one having to learn how to code for yourself when there’s no examples to copy and paste, and no friendly classmate to give you their code. The best thing I do for my own learning in college is take the time to really understand what’s going on in assignments and exam questions, because once you get it using it becomes so much easier.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Anywhere with exposure to problem solving and programming. There will always be more to learn no matter what but a background working in software development would certainly help someone in my position.

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