My Progression to Senior Software Engineer at Objective
Posted: 13 Oct 2020, 1:51am - Tuesday

In 2012, I was visiting my sister in New Zealand when I decided I wanted to move over there from The Philippines, too. Soon I was working as a PHP/SQL Programmer, developing and maintaining New Zealand’s first end-to-end Building Consenting System, AlphaOne.

I enjoyed it and it was very demanding. I was pretty much solely responsible for managing AlphaOne and had to wear multiple hats in addition to writing code. When AlphaOne was acquired by Objective last year, I felt a really welcome change to my job.

There’s so much support: everything is manageable. My worklife balance has changed dramatically and I now enjoy my weekends without worrying about work, here’s a little bit more about how I got here and what it’s like working at Objective.

My road to Senior Software Engineer at Objective

I graduated with a BS Information Management in 2008 from Xavier University, Philippines. While studying, I freelanced as a desktop application developer (using .Net C# + MySQL) and I mostly wrote web based applications, using PHP or LAMP stack.

After working for a while as a lecturer, I was employed remotely by companies all over the world to do PHP web applications, maintain or build applications and websites, and manage web servers.

Eventually I found myself in NZ on the AlphaOne project. ] With one remote and two on-site developers, we managed to stabilise the system and grow our client base from 2 to 12 in just 3 years.

AlphaOne was acquired by Objective in March 2019 and as the Senior Software Engineer for Alpha One, I love working for Objective! I write code, manage our mail and web servers and am also responsible for developing hybrid mobile applications (a mobile version of AlphaOne), so we can easily maintain and deploy it on the Apple, Google and Windows stores.

How I developed my skills

In 2004, before I knew anything at all about the existence of Facebook, I had a very similar idea. I didn't write the code until 2005 though, when I built my own popular and exclusive social network called Zabyer.

The challenges I faced with it (such as performance degradation, compatibility issues, exploitation and hacking) brought my knowledge up to a commercial level long before I’d even finished university. Then, equipped with that knowledge, I started freelancing, which added to my skills in dealing with customers and clients.

I created another social network in 2008 but I struggled to finance it and realised I really just needed money. That’s when I began working remotely for multiple companies, before finding my job at AlphaOne.

The most important things I’ve learned on my career journey

Probably the most important things I’ve learned over the years are:

  • Working with a legacy system and someone else’s code is hard! But you should learn to appreciate other people’s work because you have the knowledge to improve it.
  • Every developer has their own style, so whoever you’re on a team with, come up with rules you can all agree on. I’ve also learned I should get my teammates involved with what I’m doing instead of making them wait around for my part.
  • When it comes to small-medium businesses, I’ve learned how to balance what a business wants and is capable of, with its customers’ needs. With the information from both sides, I can recommend and easily deliver the output.

How we develop our engineers at Objective

At Objective, our best and well-tested approach is to start off new employees on bug fixing (from easy to hard) and guide them closely. This way, they will learn the project structure, flows and its ecosystem.

I don't tell them all the details, but I do show them how it is done rather than giving a long list of instructions. A visual presentation stays in the mind a lot better. Once they catch up with the other developers, they can be eased into bug fixing and other mixed tasks, like new stuff and best practices.

We like to include our new engineers in research and development as well, to make them excited about new technologies and boost their confidence to do more things. I always listen to their ideas and allow them to explore: I want them to feel like they are truly contributing to a project.

Personally, I’m glad all my hard work has led me here. I love the culture and the energy of this company. To me, Objective is the perfect workplace!

Do you think you have what it takes to become part of our engineering team at Objective? Check our careers page for job openings!