A bald man with a small beard wearing a causal green top and smiling. He works in software engineering.
Patrick Butterly. Image: Luke Maxwell/Silicon Republic

Don’t be afraid to ask questions in software engineering

6 Jun 2019

A senior software engineer in Liberty IT talks about how he got to where he is now and his advice for new software engineers.

Do you want to work in software engineering? Whether you’re just starting out or you’re right in the middle of your career but in a different industry, there’s never a wrong time to join software engineering. In fact, last year we spoke to Kieran Flesk, who switched from being a plumber to a software engineer.

This time, we headed to Liberty IT and spoke to Patrick Butterly. He is a senior software engineer at Liberty IT. He always had an interest in computers, ever since he was young. However, though his interest continued, he decided to pursue a different career path in marketing.

“After a little while, I realised that really wasn’t what I wanted to do or where I wanted to be, and I got the opportunity to retrain in software and I took it,” he said. “There’s no wrong time to start. I’ve known people who started retraining in software when they were in their 60s and they just love it.”

Being a software engineer can be incredibly rewarding, using both technical skills and softer skills such as problem-solving and communication. Butterly said he received a lot of mentorship from his tech lead and he also got to do presentations both internally and externally.

Butterly also said that on his own career journey, the biggest challenge was finding a way to merge his passion for security with his passion for programming. “I constantly went for the security things on top of my own programming and Liberty IT moved me towards teams where I could excel using both of them,” he said.

Finally, Butterly shared his key advice for those thinking of entering the world of software engineering: don’t be afraid to ask questions. “No one’s an expert in everything and you’ll constantly find yourself in a position where you don’t know as much as you think you should, so don’t be afraid to ask.”

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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