Beyond the Job Posting: Life as an Application Software Developer at SWC
Walter Hogan is a Senior Consultant on the application development side of SWC’s Software Solutions Group. Walter loves the variety of cool projects he gets to work on at SWC and also being part of a dynamic team where he is constantly motivated, challenged and able to learn and grow his skills.
We sat down with Walter to give potential applicants a glimpse of what it’s like to be an Application Software Developer at SWC.
You’ve been working at SWC for a while now. What makes SWC a great place to work?
My answer is the same for “What makes SWC a great place to work?” and “What’s the most challenging thing about working at SWC?” It’s the variety. Everything we do here is very fast-paced. Typically, internal IT works at a much slower pace because you have specific projects that you’re working towards, but we work on many diverse projects simultaneously.
It’s fun and it’s challenging because there is constant change. I think being challenged every day is a pillar of any great IT position, and that challenge keeps you happy, motivated, and it whets your appetite to learn and grow your skills.
What technologies do you utilize in your role?
I work with .NET and SQL and I split my time between application development and business intelligence (BI).
With the Application Software Developer role, we like to see someone with a diverse technology background come in the door—someone with experience in technologies such as .NET, SQL, C#, Java, SharePoint, CRM, and BI.
What qualities make a successful Application Software Developer?
We try to understand a candidate’s personal career goals; do they see themselves starting to manage projects, or are they more of the technical type where they want to architect a solution but not necessarily be client-facing? If they do have an interest in being client-facing, we’d like to see related experience and understand different scenarios and challenges in communicating with clients.
What are some day-to-day challenges that an Application Software Developer will face?
It’s one of the reasons I love my job, but managing time is one of the more difficult aspects of software development. I think that never really goes away because things are constantly changing. But if you stay organized and know how to prioritize, you can succeed. One thing I tell people coming in is that consulting is a lot different than an internal IT position. We have to be accountable for our time. That was probably the hardest thing I faced my first year here: having to figure out what I did for 8 hours and then log it. But that comes with time and experience; you learn to manage your time better.
What was one of the most memorable projects you’ve worked on?
I have been fortunate enough to work on some of the biggest projects that our Software Solutions Group has ever undertaken. One in particular involved the processing of a huge volume of transactions—millions of records per day—and the application we were building needed to take into account a number of performance considerations. We couldn’t just use the first approach we came up with; we had to run different scenarios.
It was difficult because the client wanted results on a tight deadline, but having that sense of accomplishment upon successful delivery to a happy client made it all worthwhile. It definitely was a growing experience. We took a lot of skills away from that.
How is the work-life balance at SWC?
SWC has always made work-life balance a priority on many levels. Whether we are having a team meeting or a one-on-one meeting, work-life balance is often woven into the conversation. Occasionally it happens where there is a pressing issue and they ask for volunteers for a project, but I can think of only one time ever where it needed to be me. That’s something I appreciate because overtime has been expected at my prior jobs. People are more willing to put in the time when it’s not mandated.
What professional development opportunities are there?
Typically, people who are in our field have a desire to keep learning, and SWC promotes that for us in Software because we have career advocates assigned to everyone. We meet with our career advocates every two weeks and they help coach us with our careers, give us advice and advocate for our professional development. Every time I’ve ever wanted to do something new, that’s the first place I go. I’ve learned new skills and technologies because I’ve asked my career advocate, “How do I get involved in the next project doing [this]?” SWC has a great career development program.
The incentive system here encourages learning and skillset growth as well. You get incentives based on the level of certification you complete. The incentives are also based on company need. You’ll get incentives for certifications no matter what, but if you receive a certification that the company needs, they may offer a higher rate so that more people will be motivated to take the tests.
What are some of your favorite SWC perks and experiences?
The holiday party, summer outing, weekly beer o’clock, constant company lunches…it’s a long (and growing) list of career perks!
Interested in learning more about joining our team as an Application Software Developer? Check out our careers page or contact us at to learn more! We have a variety of open positions on our technology, digital and business teams.