Starting my university degree, I initially wanted to go into mechanical engineering but after taking a software course in my first year of engineering I was attracted to the ability to turn nothing into something, which ultimately led me to pursue software engineering. You can sit down at a computer, and if you have a plan, you can create a piece of software that can do anything with just a keyboard, and there are few barriers to entry.
I joined PCL as a student in 2017. What really made my student experience special was my manager. He genuinely cared about my experience. It wasn't about how much work I could accomplish; it was about making sure that I gained valuable experiences. He presented me with countless opportunities to learn and grow as a software developer.
I was able to pick up experimental software development projects. One of these projects was called Birdseye, a 3D project viewing software. I came up with a solution for compressing 3D models to be rendered and displayed on a browser without destroying the performance; as you scrolled down the page, the project would build-up, and highlight different components as they got filled in during the project timeline. This would allow clients to visualize Industrial projects throughout their lifecycle, and their proposed timelines.
Another project I developed while I was a student that has grown into my full-time role is an opportunity planning software called Horizon. Our Business Development team uses this tool to assist them in determining which projects to pursue based on certain factors as they pertain to political or market conditions. Horizon is used to plan for all types of scenarios and determine the potential financial result to aid the decision-making process.
As a software developer, it’s exciting to work for a construction company that recognizes the value of technology and is at the forefront of the industry. The sky is really the limit in software development. I would not be in the position I am today if I hadn't asked to take on more experimental work while I was in my placement. Having the ability to produce something that people use, find value in, and take ownership of it is rewarding.