What's your job about?
Saab is involved in a lot of different types of work, with defence projects being its primary focus. My role is to develop software for Saab’s naval combat management system which is the command and control centre of many advanced surface vessels and submarines.
My typical day starts at a stand-up meeting with my team. We discuss what we achieved the previous day, any problems we encountered and our goals for the day. Typically, after my work’s complete it’s reviewed by a team member, and if changes need to be made, I make them. After the review process, we use various tools to ensure my changes don’t break other parts of the system. Once this returns a positive result, my changes are merged so everyone working on the project (there are multiple teams involved) can use and modify it. I’ll then start the next task.
What's your background?
I grew up in Adelaide where I acquired my education from primary to tertiary level. During high school, I realised I was adept at mathematics and science, so when the time came to apply for university degrees, engineering was an obvious choice. University not only equipped me with the tools to become a proficient engineer, but the environment allowed me to meet a vast range of people with various backgrounds studying different disciplines. Interactions with various people instilled an appreciation for different cultures, and different ways of thinking and approaching problems. During my final year of university, I applied for graduate engineering roles and was offered a position at Saab. I have been with the company for a year now.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes, as long as you have some programming experience. I don’t think it matters whether you’ve developed them from university coursework, or in your own time as part of your hobby. There are many skills you’ll develop on the job, skills which are difficult to develop in any other environment. Being keen to learn new concepts, ideas and methods; and actively contributing to team activities are key attributes to being successful.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The best aspect of my job is contributing and collaborating with my team members to achieve a common goal. Reaching that goal successfully and seeing the effects of the goal and members of other teams using something I worked on is most satisfying.
What are the limitations of your job?
In my experience as a graduate engineer, I have found there is not a great deal of responsibility. However, most of our work is undertaken as a team, so there’s a self-driven desire to complete my portion of the work well and on time so not to block anyone continuing their work. As with any project, there are some periods which are busier than usual, so you may have to spend more hours at work. There are also periods which are less busy. However, once we go home, we can switch off for the day.
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