Edward J.

Developer
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Edward J.
Computer Science
Computer Science and Software Engineering
Taught Postgraduate
Langwith
2006
United Kingdom

My employment

Developer
Marshall Wace
United Kingdom
Digital and IT services
Medium-size business (50-249 employees)
2019

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A day in the life of a Developer in the United Kingdom

When starting out, try to learn as much as you can about the company, and sector as you possibly can. It's the best way to impress in an interview to be knowledge about the company, its peers, and what is happening in the sector.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

Hedge Fund

What do you do?

Create IT systems from scratch using a variety of technologies.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

Did a summer internship at Deloitte before my final year, which led to a job offer. Took a gap year to travel in Africa and teach English in China. Worked as a data and analytics specialist at Deloitte and qualified as a chartered accountant. After 6 years, didn't fancy the career path there so moved to a technology startup. From this experience, I learned that a midsize company, with a UK location, working in advanced technology is where I excel.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Financial Services in London was a big sector when I graduated and still is. I'd still recommend it, although it feels harder to Brexit proof a career nowadays.

Describe your most memorable day at work

Over my career so far, the bits that really stand out are giving presentations and sales pitches and international travel when I was in my 20s,

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

For software developers, the main ones are communications skills - elicit, understand and challenge requirements; progress and project plans; technology options. And then staying current.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

Challenging but superb. We are in the office 5 days a week, 8am till 6pm. It's very hard to explain culture when you haven't worked before, but for me it's a measure of how well an organisation works. Like a well maintained engine, there is little friction. It's also hard to spot in an interview, but best advice I can give is to try to meet as many of the people (line manager, co-workers) that you will be working with, and see if you click.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

The key thing for me was working - societies, etc. are great but nothing beats having actual jobs on your CV, even if they are internships, volunteer jobs, freelancing, etc. It de-risks you for an employer if they know that somebody else has been happy to pay you money for your time. Specifically for technical people, having a stack exchange profile and github projects are an important showcase

What would you like to do next with your career?

I would have liked to have worked overseas more before "settling down"

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

A degree gets you in the door, nothing else. If you're lucky, some of what you study may be applicable in your job, but mostly a degree is not on-the-job training. What will get you ahead is commitment & taking responsibility and ownership for your own career and deliverables. When starting out, try to learn as much as you can about the company, and sector as you possibly can. It's the best way to impress in an interview to be knowledge about the company, its peers, and what is happening in the sector.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Anything really

Next steps...

If you like the look of Edward’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Edward a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Edward to be your mentor.

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