Helen Griffin | Smart Futures

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Helen Griffin
Helen Griffin is a Senior Software Developer at Fexco Coporate Payments. She gets to code, fix bugs, and develop new features on projects...all in a days work!
Job title
Senior Software Developer
Financial Services
Fexco Corporate Payments

Describe a typical day in your job as Senior Software Developer?

In the morning I check emails, arrange a to-do list, and respond to meeting requests. Then I carry out coding, problem-solving and development. Depending on the day I may also have meetings to discuss progress of bugs and features, or new projects I’m involved in.


What sort of tasks are you responsible for, and you do need specific skills for your job?

Handling multiple tasks is part of the job: developing new features and fixing bugs as they come in. The ability to reuse existing code and to refactor code is essential. Also the ability to integrate with 3rd party software and systems is very important. When you are in the IT field, multi-tasking is a must.

13 years’ experience in .Net development gives me sound technical knowledge. I like having the ability to solve problems, learn new technologies, find solutions to problems, and to be efficient and creative. Being a decent team player and having good interpersonal skills are important for the work I do.


What’s your favourite thing about your job?

The benefit of working 2 days from home. It’s a 2 hour commute to the office, so to be given the choice to work from home is a bonus!

I like that the work is always evolving as we take on new projects. I also like the process of understanding, defining, building and delivering software. There’s a sense of pride and accomplishment in delivering a working system or new feature.


What are the difficult aspects of working as a software developer?

90% of my job is accomplished behind a computer screen, so it can be solitary. You also need a lot of self-discipline to keep motivated to get the work done, especially when working from home.

I have to be able to quickly respond to the changes and modifications of the applications. I also have to do quite a bit of research and development work on 3rd party solutions to make sure they integrate into our applications.


 Who or what has most influenced your career direction?

I didn’t come to software development directly after secondary school. I initially studied Business Studies for a year and went into the work force for 4 years. With age came a better knowledge of myself and what I was interested in. At that point I decided to study Software Development full time. My course had a great work placement module in the final year which put me with a company that helped me start off on my current career path.


What was your favourite subject in school?

My favourite subjects in school were Biology and Maths.


What is your education to date?

I completed a FAS Electronics Course (FAS) followed by a Certificate in Science in Computer Systems, Diploma in Science in Computer Systems, B.Sc. (Hons) in Computing in Software Development (all in IT Tralee!)


What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Having an interest in science based-subjects is great to have but other personal traits are also essential; such as being a logical, structured thinker and being able to think outside the box. Attention to detail and problem solving is key. Self-discipline and self-motivation are also a must.


Whats your top tip for students?

Developers are noted for being workaholics, which isn’t healthy. Find a good work/life balance that includes time away from the computer, with friends and family, and proper amounts of rest. Tired developers make mistakes.

Having an interest in science based-subjects is great to have but other personal traits are also essential; such as being a logical, structured thinker and being able to think outside the box.