Asavie how i got here
Marcio Melo, senior software engineer at Asavie. Image: Asavie

Curiosity essential for a career in coding, says Asavie engineer

19 Oct 2016

If you’re looking at a career in coding, it can be daunting trying to figure out where to start or what path to take. You might not even be sure where you want to end up.

Marcio Melo relocated to Dublin with his family to work with Asavie as a senior software engineer. He tells us about his career path and why he moved from Portugal to Dublin for his career.

What first stirred your interest in a career in this area?

From a young age, I wasn’t content with just watching tv or playing on my computer, I wanted to get under the hood. So, I started to investigate how computers worked and are networked, what needed to be done to make things work better, and figure out ways to keep people connected through their computers.

Because of this interest, I chose to go to a specialist high school in Portugal that offered programming courses, where I got my first insight into the world of coding.

What steps led you to the role you now have?

My foundation was tinkering with any electronic device I could get my hands on. I got more structure and expertise in high school in Portugal where I became sure that a career in this area would interest me. I moved on to do an electrical engineering degree with focus on networking, which developed my core knowledge and provided more focus on my career path.

Post degree, I was offered a sponsored PhD, which would allow me to both further my studies and get experience in the field, which excited me. This arrangement allowed me to both earn and learn, which was very beneficial for both my career and the company who supported me. The programme was called ‘4ward’.

What were the biggest surprises or challenges you encountered on your career path?

I had been in my position for some time and was open to new stimulation and opportunities. My wife was studying nursing, and the market was becoming increasingly tough to find a job for her. We were both feeling unmotivated by our situation and at a leaving party for one of my neighbours who was moving to pursue a career in Dublin, I told him to ‘save me a seat’. Not thinking too much into it but curious about the possibilities of a new life that would kick-start our passion in our careers, I kept in touch with Andre.

After a few months, I found myself on a flight to Dublin for an interview and spending hours online looking to see what the way of life would be for me and my family if I took the chance and worked for Asavie too. Ireland has a lot going for it; it’s home to some of the best technology companies in the world and is at the epicentre of innovation and important consortiums.

However, it was not Dublin, but Asavie, that convinced me to move.  The business is working with cutting edge technology and is growing fast. Speaking to my future employer was inspiring and left me feeling positive about the future of my career with Asavie.

Was there any one person who was particularly influential as your career developed?

Working while studying for my PhD was extremely challenging at times, but my passion for programming, coding and problem solving gave me the motivation to succeed. My first boss, who supported me through this period, showed a lot of faith in me by giving me flexibility and support where and when it was required.  He was an open-minded engineer and a critical thinker, which allowed me to grow within my role, and the freedom to think for myself.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I love coming into work every day surrounded by a highly skilled team, with plenty of problem solving. I love to analyse a problem, have a vision of a solution to the problem, design the solution, and wonder at the fantastic outcome. It is inspiring to be supported by people who share the same passion for problem solving as I do. We have built an engineering team that makes something quite complicated look simple – ‘we make connectivity simple’. The company culture here is great, there is a natural feeling of being part of something big, lots of goals, teams, and support across the company to make things happen, and happen fast.

What aspects of your personality do you feel make you suited to this job?

The first and probably most important trait is curiosity – wanting to know how and why things work. As a coder, I find patience and persistence helps you get an awesome ending.

How has Asavie supported you on your career path?

I moved myself and my family all the way from Portugal to join Asavie. Asavie helped with the basic relocation tasks, such as finding a crèche, setting up a bank account and finding somewhere to live.

I mentioned one of my colleagues moved from Portugal to join Asavie in Ireland a few months before me. He raved about the calibre of everyone who worked there, and how everyone is passionate about achieving a common goal. And it turns out that is what I love most about Asavie; my colleagues who support and challenge me every day, helping me grow my experience and expertise.

What advice would you give to those considering a career in this area, or just starting out in one?

If you are one of those people who gets in trouble for taking things apart to figure out why and how it works, coding is good for you. You can be creative in what you want your outcome to be, but you should also love the journey in getting there. We are hiring now and looking for problem solvers and passion.

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