Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:21
Studying software: How to become a professional?
Text: Riikka Pehkonen Illustration: Miia Herva
Software industry is an active field which offers many challenges for its workers. It’s much easier to start working when you have prepared yourself for the profession. Preparing begins right away from the first student days.
The main goal in the software industry is to develop good quality software which serves the client’s needs. It means software that needs as little maintenance as possible. Development in the software industry is continuous and also implementing techniques will change.
– It’s important to know that studying doesn’t end when you graduate. You’ll have to keep looking for better solutions actively and studying, Software Developer Teemu Kurola says.
– Learning new is essential. But from a practical point of view you should also know what the term "good enough" means. I mean, my job is to test the programmes and get feedback from the clients. The process can take too much time if you can’t decide when the software is ready. Software is never that ready, that there wouldn’t be any bugs, Software Specialist Sanna Pumpanen continues.
Sanna and Teemu have worked in Automaster for two years now. Automaster is a software development company in Oulu. It develops software for automotive industry. Teemu does specifications, implementation and maintenance. Sanna works in market support and helps customers with their problems.
Have a clear goal
Sanna and Teemu have studied in the Degree Programme in Business Information Systems in Oulu UAS. The contents of the studies are much the same as in the Degree Programme in Business Information Technology. This is what they think about their studies:
– I believe that every course has given something to me. But mainly programming, database and modeling courses and all the practical stuff have been the most useful, Teemu says.
Sanna feels the same but ranks two courses the best: Database design and Information technology project and documentation. Teemu and Sanna both think that it’s important to concentrate in all those courses, which support the choice of a profession. You should make clear what kind of job interests you as soon as possible.
– Have a clear goal. Select your option as soon as possible, Teemu advises.
– And if the goal is not clear for you, ask opinions from the people who are already working in the field, Sanna says.
International education is a benefit
Every employer appreciates previous working experience. It makes a firm basis to start with. As a student it’s important to get involved in real-world projects, if possible. Sanna didn’t have any professional experience when she started working in Automaster. She got her first touch on the real-life profession while doing her practical training:
– Also the visits they arrange at schools offer good changes to learn new things.
Everyday work in Automaster is international. Clients and workmates are often from different countries and all the material you get and use is in English. Workers travel a lot. From that point of view the international education is a benefit.
– It makes your use of different languages much more natural. And it is a lot easier to work abroad, Teemu thinks.