I joined up with CustomWare about 2 months ago, so I'm still pretty fresh out of the oven. But before I launch into what life has been like there, a bit of background on yours truly:
I graduated from UNSW in 2006 with a Computer Engineering degree and immediately began working for a research company as a "scientist" (I was not, stricktly speaking, a scientist, but that's what they called all of us). I had fabulous and unique experiences there but at the end of the day I was looking for work more related to my field of study and I was hoping to learn a lot more about professional development and the IT industry.
And so I took the step out of my comfort zone (trust me, I was a little too comfy in my previous job ) and applied for a CustomWare job I saw advertised. Turns out I knew two ex-CustomWarers, but I didn't realise until after I got the job.
After pottering around for 2 months at CustomWare and getting to know the people, the processes and the philosophy, I feel like I made the right choice in joining up. CustomWare is large enough to have the feel of a "company" and yet small enough that everyone gets a chance at doing almost anything they want to put their hand up for. Some of the other things that have impressed me about CustomWare:
- The tight-knit teams - "Team work" has really only been a buzzword in most of my previous jobs and not much more, but here I really get the sense that we are working together as a team to achieve something. And everyone is so helpful to each other so there definitely is more of a feeling of achieving team goals rather then personal goals.
- Professional software development - Even though most of the development projects are small in comparison with larger IT companies, the software development processes are followed through and quality of the project can be assured. I know from stories from friends that this is not the case in other companies (and some dodgy stories will make a developer squirm!).
- Good management - The managers at CustomWare are all focused and know exactly what they're doing and what needs to be done, which gives us plebs a sense of security that we are in good hands.
- Realistic and specific goals - This one kind of ties in with good management but it is so helpful to know what you are working towards. Much emphasis has been placed on the pleasing the customer as the ultimate goal and I think it's good that management consistently reiterate this.
- Customisable career path - When I initially joined up I wanted to learn to be a "proper" developer with an eye on being a consultant in the future. CustomWare has been great in letting me pretty much choose which path to take and the team is small enough I can get away with doing a bit of both. Other larger organisations may not provide such flexibility in your career path, certainly not in so short a frame of time.
So, all in all, my first two months at CustomWare have been great and I've learnt so much that I otherwise wouldn't have. I hope to learn more in the coming months so that I can contribute more to the productivity of the team.
Lastly, I have to mention again that the people here have been great in helping me get up to speed - even if I'm the only girl in the village .