My Grad Story- Software Developer

Mark Murnane is a UCD Computer Science graduate. Here he talks about his time at Airtel, the skills and education required for the role, and what he enjoys about it.

How did you go about getting your grad role? 

I found Airtel’s internship position through UCD’s jobs portal and from there I successfully applied and interviewed with Airtel.

Describe a typical day at Airtel ATN?

In general, most days begin with a team meeting where we chat for a bit about our day and then discuss what we plan to work on today and if any extra help is needed to do this.

After this meeting, there is no set structure, and no two days will be the same. My day will be filled with any amount training / meetings / project work I have scheduled.

Describe your main tasks and responsibilities?

I was tasked with adapting ACARS application messages to be sent over IP.

What are the main challenges?

I think the most challenging aspect initially was trying to understand a foreign codebase that my software needed to interface with, as this is my first time working on a self-contained piece of software that will eventually be adapted to massive codebase.

What’s cool? 

Every three months, there is a ‘demo day’ where my colleagues will give short presentations on their work or a specific topic of interest, so this helps put into context what goes on outside of your own team and what people are working on.

What’s not so cool? 

In general, there will be a lot of new terminology and acronyms to learn upfront, and this information overload can be confusing and daunting at times, especially at the beginning of the internship you will be mixing things up and forgetting a lot of things.

What skills do you bring to your workplace? 

I think I bring a good work ethic and general positive attitude to my team …. although you would have to ask my manager to confirm this.

What is your education to date? 

I attended a gaelscoil secondary school, Coláiste Eoin, from there I went to UCD to study computer science where I am currently a third-year student.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job? 

Topics from modules like Networking and Information Security have come up during work however most of the specifics can be learned as you go on the job, so a strong foundation in a low-level language like C is probably the most important thing.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far? 

The most rewarding thing is beginning to make sense of all the new terminology and acronyms that you will have to deal with upfront. It’s easy to forget how much you learnt until you think back to your first day, when none of these acronyms had any meaning to you.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job? 

Make sure your CV highlights projects or interests related to the industry e.g Networking, and that you are prepared to answer and solve technical questions on the day of your interview.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Attention to detail is a very important trait here as this is a highly technical industry. You will need to be able to work in a team, give updates and ask for help when needed. Tolerating ambiguity is a crucial skill here too, focusing most of your efforts on understanding what is needed as there is too much industry specific knowledge for anyone to learn immediately.