Aoife Egan – BSc (Hons) in Software Development
Name: Aoife Egan
School: Ursuline College, Sligo
Current Job Title: Cloud Support Engineer – Developer & Mobile Services Organisation
Company Name: Amazon Web Services
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to choosing your course:
When I finished school I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew I loved the problem solving aspect of maths but knew I didn’t want to study math. I also loved taking art classes in school and coming up with new designs. In the back of my mind I was always interested in technology and coding but wasn’t heavily involved. I decided to take a chance on it and chose the software development course ATU Sligo offered as it covered all three things I liked; problem solving, design, and technologies.
What specifically about the course did you particularly enjoy?
I really enjoyed the hands on approach. It was great to experience working with the technologies we were learning about in real-life, building apps and websites. One really good part I enjoyed a lot was the fact we were taking a full-stack approach. Because of this, I got to learn about all parts of the development process and a range of technologies. One of my favourite parts of the course was the work placement I undertook in my 3rd year. This was pivotal in my success since then as I was able to gain experience of developing code on real life projects and products.
What is the best thing about the course that you think new applicants should know?
The best part of the course is by far the common first year. As I mentioned, I wasn’t 100% sure what I was getting myself into when I chose this course and the common first year really helped me confirm my choice. With this common first year, I got to share classes from other tech courses and got exposure to different technologies from networking to games development. The fact I was able to get all this exposure and transfer into another course if I preferred it was amazing.
Any favourite modules during your time studying?
I really enjoyed all of the classes, especially the programming classes, so it makes it hard to choose. The machine learning and data analytics classes were brilliant too. If I had to choose though, I think it would be a tie between the UX/UI class and the AWS Cloud classes we had. I was very passionate about both of those classes, the design part of the UX/UI class and learning how all the services work in the cloud. As this class was based on AWS service, it really opened doors for me and helped me get where I am today.
What key skills did you learn while studying at ATU Sligo that have influenced your career?
Continuous learning. With technology, you can never say you know everything and you’ve finished learning; everything moves so fast. Being able to adapt and learn on the go are major skills I developed over my time at ATU Sligo, both of which have greatly influenced my career so far.
Can you share some detail of your career path to date
I first started out in Cora Systems in Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim, where I did my work placement as a software development engineer in my third year. After that I took on some web design work on the side while I was finishing my final year. I applied for the graduate position in AWS in December of my final year and had all my interviews done with AWS by the end of January. Once I finished my exams in May, I started in Amazon in July.
What does your current role involve?
I currently work with different AWS enterprise customers everyday, helping them troubleshoot any issues that arise in their environments. Every day is different which I love as I get to see a range of architectures and use-cases that are being used in day-to-day settings and help out with fixing any issues which range from small errors to large problems causing production pain.
What advice would you share with our current students considering a career in your field?
Take every opportunity to learn something new, even if you don’t think you will like it. You never know how it will help you in the future.
What did you like best about studying at ATU Sligo?
I really liked how small the classes were. It was great to be able to have a close relationship with your classmates and lecturers. You don’t feel like just another number.
What advice would you give a first year student starting in ATU Sligo?
Join as many clubs as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in any class, the lecturers are more than happy to help.
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