A woman with dark hair in the bright Workhuman office in Dublin, working on a laptop beside a window.
Gillian Rowan. Image: Luke Maxwell

What do you wish you knew at the start of your career?

6 Jun 2019

It’s hard to know what your career will actually be like when you first start. What’s the one thing you wish you knew now?

One of the main things we hear from software engineers is that technology is always changing. But it’s one thing knowing that going into a career and it’s quite another when you actually experience it happening in the middle of your career.

No matter how prepared you think you are or how much you think you know about a career in software engineering, people are still often surprised by how quickly tech evolution happens.

Gillian Rowan is one such software engineer, at HR software company Workhuman. “One thing I wish I knew at the start of my career would be how quickly things change in the world of technology,” she told Siliconrepublic.com.

Luckily, she said at her current company she has had the opportunity to change her role over time. “I was given the opportunity to change and move into the scrum team to develop more skills,” she said.

In terms of her daily tasks, Rowan said she’s usually checking what items have come up overnight and what problems she can solve before attending her daily stand-up meeting with her team. “Then I would collaborate with other scrum teams on different features or items that need to be worked on.”

When it comes to the daily skills she uses in her role at Workhuman, naturally technical software skills topped the list, but she also mentioned that softer, more creative skills that would be equally as important. “Innovation, trying to come up with a new idea for the problem that we’re trying to solve and then communication with other teams as well,” she said.

Finally, Rowan said the most important productivity tip she had was taking little breaks from the desk. As you may know, maximum productivity does not come from powering through loads of work and skipping lunches to get everything done. The best thing employees can do, no matter what industry they’re in, is to take breaks throughout the day to help their brain recharge.

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.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading