The Day in the life of a Software Engineer at TransUnion
We spoke to Antonio Presicce, Software Engineer, about his role and life at TransUnion.
What exactly is a Software Engineer?
A software engineer is a person who uses their software and computer knowledge, in order to create, update, and test various pieces of software or services used by the business.
Why did you want to become a Software Engineer?
From an early age I have had a strong interest and passion for technology and computers. I really enjoyed the IT lessons throughout school and when deciding to continue my education at university I knew that it was Computer Science that I wanted to study, and although it was challenging, I enjoyed the challenge. I enjoy how working with software tests your problem-solving skills as it is very rewarding when you do eventually solve the problem.
How did you get started at TransUnion and how did you progress?
I was fortunate that the year I graduated university, TransUnion, then called CallCredit, were running a graduate scheme for new developers. I applied to the graduate scheme and was extremely lucky to have been chosen to be hired as an associate engineer. Throughout the years of me working here, I have worked closely with the development team, and with the new skills and experienced earned I have been able to progress my career to engineer level 3. My goal now is to continue to progress with TransUnion and become a senior in the future.
What are your core skills?
I believe my core skills include being able to work well within a team to turn business requirements into a software deliverable. This is done by communicating and working well with a team, attending various meetings, and most importantly, helping each other. My technical skills include the C# programming language, the .NET framework and some knowledge in the cloud platform Azure.
How long have you worked for TransUnion?
I started working at TransUnion, in September 2016 straight after graduating from university. That’s nearly five years ago, time flies!
What made you choose to join TransUnion ahead of other organisations?
At first, I joined TransUnion, because of the graduate scheme that they were offering which I knew would provide me with the training and development opportunities needed to start my career. The three months training course seemed very robust in comparison to other graduate scheme opportunities, and it allowed me to gain knowledge and gain valuable working experience at the same time. I have stayed at TransUnion since joining back in 2016, not just because I enjoy the work, but because of the people, the culture, and the passion that colleagues around the business have. All these factors create a great environment to work within.
Can you describe a typical day in the office?
Currently I am working from home but it doesn’t impact what my typical day ‘in the office’ looks like, apart from all meetings are virtual and I am not physically in the office with other people.
Presently, a typical day in the ‘office’ for me starts at 8:30am, I usually log on and check my emails to see if there’s anything new I need to be made aware of.
At 9:15am me and the team then have what is called a “stand up” meeting, which involves updating the team of the work that was done the day before, what I will be working on that day, and whether there are any blockers (anything anyone is stuck on).
Depending on what day it is, there are usually a few different meetings which I would attend, either with the team to discuss work/progression, or with the wider TransUnion community to see what other teams around the business have been working on. Every Tuesday and Thursday we also have team catchups meetings, where we just chat for half an hour about anything, the weekend, hobbies etc. Which is nice, especially during the current pandemic and whilst working from home, where social interaction isn’t happening as often as it used to. I believe it makes you a closer team, learning about each other and the different interests everyone has.
When not in meetings I would then be working on tasks assigned to me from our Scrum board. Our Scrum board is filled with what are called stories (a story basically describes a piece of work, broken down into tasks needed to be accomplished, in order to complete it) which we would try and get done within our sprint (a sprint for us consists of two working weeks). Depending on the size and type of story, there are various tasks associated with it which would need to be completed, in order to then be able to finish that story off. If something doesn’t make sense or if I get stuck on a piece of work, I ask the team for some help, to share knowledge and to unblock the piece of work I am working on.
What makes TransUnion a great place work? Why is it different?
I believe TransUnion is a great place to work in for a variety of reasons, which is why I have remained working here since joining 5 years ago. Here are a few reasons why I think it is a great place to work with:
The people. Whether it is colleagues from within the development team or colleagues from the wider community, everyone at TransUnion is really nice and passionate. If you are stuck on something or want to learn more about a certain technology or even something non-work related, everyone here is really friendly and approachable. This makes it a great working environment, where people will go out their way to help you, which is really nice.
Unbelievable support from the company during the pandemic. TransUnion knows that it has not been easy working from home, mixing personal and work life together into one. But the support from the company has been incredible. The company sent us equipment and accessories needed, allowing us to work easier from home. Currently, they are allowing us to take Friday afternoons off between July and August, to make the most of the sunny days and they have given us a few extra days off during the year to relax and take some time off work during these stressful times. The company is also supporting us with flexible ways of working and is not pushing us to be back in the office, instead we can go back when we feel it’s safe to do so, or if we want to, we can just carry on working from home.
Learning and development time. Every month we get half a day to be able to concentrate on continuing to learn and develop our knowledge and skills. We can choose the topic of interest and what is most relevant to us and spend time developing ourselves.
What project are you most proud of?
The project that I am most proud of, so far, would be a recent project we had to work on, which includes creating a new service in the cloud using Azure. The service is used to call a 3rd party service to generate a one-time passcode, which is delivered to a customer’s mobile phone. It was an interesting project and having never worked on Azure before, it was interesting to learn some new technologies.
What does the future hold for the world of Software Development?
There is a lot of exciting new things coming in the software development world. Some of these include working in the cloud, with providers such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, offering new technologies and ways of developing and hosting software/services.
What exciting things are on the horizon for TransUnion?
At TransUnion we are moving towards the cloud. It is an exciting time because it will involve learning and working with new technologies, such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services. The company is also giving us the chance to get certified in these new technologies, by providing us with different learning material, online courses, and free exams vouchers.