A young, dark-haired man in a black, casual shirt standing in front of a wall that says Avaya in red letters.
Brian Varley, graduate software engineer, Avaya. Image: Avaya

‘I’ve gained valuable experience in the application development life cycle’

24 Aug 2018

What’s it like to be part of a graduate programme as a software engineer?

It’s a great time to be a software engineer. The tech industry needs top talent and it needs fresh new graduates in order to plug a skills gap.

Software engineering graduates might be wondering what’s it like to join a graduate programme. What kind of work do you end up doing? What does your day look like?

Brian Varley joined telecoms company Avaya as part of its graduate programme and is now working as a software engineer for the company.

Here, he talks about his experience on the programme and gives a unique insight into what it’s like to work at Avaya.

What did you study in college?

Bachelor of science in computing in software development at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.

With this programme, are you now working in your desired industry?

Yes, I’m working in the telecoms industry as a software engineer.

What drew you to Avaya when you were seeking work as a graduate?

The opportunities to work on current technologies and gain experience in a well-established software company.

What expectations did you have before you began the programme?

I expected to learn a lot from the team in Avaya and be challenged technically, but also to grow as an engineer from these challenges.

What duties and responsibilities were you given initially?

Researching and developing prototypes initially to trial out ideas on emerging products and technologies. Part of this work involved developing microservices for a messaging application.

Did the scope of your work change as the programme progressed?

It did. As the team moved from prototyping to implementing these solutions in the contact centre products, I got more involved cross-team in understanding the different software systems and joining sprints.

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

Following up on emails, attending the daily scrum meetings, implementing bug fixes and features according to specifications. Also, answering technical queries.

How do your responsibilities compare to more experienced employees’?

Less responsible for architectural decisions and more involved in following the plan laid out by the senior engineers. But, at the same time, I’m given opportunities to contribute to the team’s sprint.

Do you feel more prepared for working life after completing this programme?

Yes, I’ve gained valuable experience in research, prototyping and the overall application development life cycle.

Why should someone apply to the graduate programme at Avaya?

It gives a graduate a lot of options to grow as an engineer and chances to work with different teams and technologies.

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