Matthew’s infectious laugh is well known to his colleagues – as is his passion for software engineering. Less widely known is that he is a massive fan of mixed martial arts.
A software developer with Microlise, Matthew sees his role as being very similar to detective work. “We translate business requirements from customers into software solutions. For me, I really enjoy how structured the process is, and I love unravelling client issues and coming up with software solutions that solve them and hopefully add value.”
Matthew was picked for an undergraduate ‘year in industry program’ in 2012, and aside from taking time out to complete his degree, has been with Microlise ever since. Matthew currently works in the team responsible for managing Microlise’s multi-camera fleet solution.
As Matthew explains, “the team structure and its clear hierarchy, supports collaboration as we work to complete projects in a two-week sprint or across a four-week release period.”
“This model really works and has the advantage of making career progression visible, as the teams are made up of entry-level students, software developers, senior and lead developers and technical leads.”
A typical day for Matthew begins at 9am with a health-check of the multi-camera solution. This is followed by a daily stand-up meeting, where Matthew and his team discuss any issues that may hamper project or sprint goals.
Matthew also takes part in ‘refinement’ sessions which take place twice a week. Upcoming work is reviewed and broken down into a workable state, ready for future sprints. Other meetings take place throughout the week, including retrospective meetings where the team and key stakeholders review completed work, including demos, and make any refinements or adjustments needed. Planning meetings are also convened so the team can agree what can be completed in a sprint.
Training and keeping abreast of industry developments is a key element of Matthew’s role. In a typical week he will spend an afternoon exploring the latest technology and upskilling across new product and platform areas.
While Matthew doesn’t come into direct customer contact, he has learned a lot from colleagues who do, “product owners and business analysts present us with the issue, or with a set of customer requirements, and we need to bring a combination of things into play. You need to have knowledge of the entire business – understanding the product, the business and our software capabilities. I like seeing the process through from beginning to end, and get satisfaction from delivering a solution that the customer is happy with.”
Microlise allows horizontal movement with people being free to move from team to team. In Matthew’s case he is currently sitting in his second team. If and when he feels ready for a change, he can raise the issue, discuss it with his manager and make a move.
As a former undergraduate with Microlise, Matthew would recommend getting involved in the business from the ground up; “I worked for a year as a junior software developer before completing my final year at University. I got a real sense of what makes the business work, and I was able to decide if this really was the right career for me – and the right company. I would absolutely recommend Microlise and the undergraduate opportunities on offer – a university course is great but it can’t prepare you properly for what it’s really like to work in the software engineering space. You don’t stand still here; you’re really encouraged to stretch yourself. I think that’s one of the reasons why people choose to stay with Microlise. It’s a supportive and challenging place to be.
Matthew has recently completed a promotion board and has become a Senior Software Developer. He is looking forward to seeing where his next role will take him; “It’s really rewarding to see the progress I have made since joining Microlise. I am looking forward to the new responsibility and to a fresh set of challenges – and to see how far I can continue to progress.”