What is it like working as a systems engineer?
Phillippe Mahu, systems engineer, Kemp Technologies. Image: Connor McKenna

What is it like working as a systems engineer?

26 Oct 201719 Shares

What do tech jobs such as DevOps and systems engineering actually entail?

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a systems engineer really looks like? While the tech industry suffers from a talent gap, there are plenty of jobs to be had in software development, DevOps and engineering.

But it isn’t always easy to know exactly what some of these roles entail, especially when they can vary so greatly between companies.

However, hearing from someone who actually does the job can go a long way towards giving people an insight into what to expect.

Philippe Mahu is a systems engineer at Kemp Technologies. He spoke to Siliconrepublic.com about what his working day is like, the kind of skills he uses and what the biggest challenges are within the role.

“Kemp is pretty much centred in innovation and we’re pretty much always using new technologies,” said Mahu. “Being able to look at those new technologies and the challenges that come with them, that’s really where I get the most enjoyment.”

Kemp is a software company that develops load balancing and application delivery software. The company opened its European headquarters in Limerick in 2010.

Mahu said he uses a number of skills on a daily basis as a systems engineer, from system and software design to task augmentation.

“We work in a DevOps group, so task and time management is probably the most difficult part because sometimes priorities could shift very rapidly, and being able to adapt to that is probably the most difficult and challenging task.”

For budding software developers and systems engineers who want to work in a similar role to Mahu, he recommends reading Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen to help with the challenge of prioritising tasks.

“Also, building up your own software repo over time,” he said. “Software recycling is very important.”

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny is the Careers Editor at Siliconrepublic.com, although she prefers to be known as Careers Overlord. 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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