Ahmad Chaker

Ahmad Chaker

University of New South Wales
Graduate Software Engineer
Ahmad studied Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Science at University of New South Wales

What's your job about?

Honeywell is an extremely large and diverse company that produces a variety of products. My division at Honeywell is specifically responsible for writing software that helps automate the running of nuclear, pharmaceutical, oil and gas plants.

I’m employed as a software engineer at Honeywell. As part of my role I’ve developed an application that will be a part of the Honeywell software package that we deliver. I was responsible for developing the architecture of the application as well as writing code. Part of this process involved interacting with various teams such as the user experience team, the server backend team as well as various users of the product to better understand what the application was required to do.

My day typically consists of resolving any code defects that arise due to testing, as well as developing code for newly proposed features and scoping out further improvements to our software products.

What's your background?

I grew up in Guildford in Western Sydney and attended the University of New South Wales where I obtained a Bachelor of Engineering (mechatronics) and a Bachelor of Science (Major in Mathematics and Major in Physics).

During my initial years at University I played NSW Youth League basketball where I was the top scorer in NSW, I also played basketball semi-professionally for a little while.

In my penultimate year of university I was employed as an intern at the airline Qantas where I was responsible for developing a demand model for their flight routes. I was also awarded a summer research scholarship with the UNSW physics department.

Progressing through university I had a part-time job working at an inbound call centre for a company providing hotel wifi solutions.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

I definitely think somebody with a different background could do my job. The most important aspect of my job is being able to think critically and rationally about problems that arise. The ability to research problems effectively is also a required skill. Another important aspect of my job involves being able to communicate effectively with various stakeholders ranging from project members to other team members.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The realisation that software that I personally wrote will be used by Honeywell customers all over the world operating extremely important pharmaceutical/nuclear plants really took my breath away.

The culture of learning is also really quite amazing. When I started my role, my supervisor organised training books and sessions to get me up to speed in various technologies that I would be using, this eased my university to work life transition.

There are also regular work events such as BBQs and pizza nights that really make working at Honeywell worthwhile.

What are the limitations of your job?

The limitations of my job are I think the same limitations that occur in many other fields. Sometimes there are high pressure situations such as software demonstrations to senior managers; this sometimes necessitates working longer hours to get some additional functionality.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  1. Apply for as many internships and work experience opportunities that appeal to you as possible. Also don’t be shy to apply for these in your 1st or 2nd year if the company allows it.
  2. Join various societies at your university, not just the ones that your degree is focussed on. This helps your branch out and meet more people.
  3. You can also have fun in university so don’t overwork yourself, you should always make time to be with friends.