Katherine Sheehan

Katherine Sheehan

Title
Software Engineer
Organization
WANdisco
Address
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Katherine Sheehan
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Biography

I have always wanted to be a doctor. Yes, you read that right, but somewhere along the way between 7 and med school that didn't happen. A little lost as to what to do next, since not attending med school wasn't quite a choice of mine, someone suggested I see if I would find computer programming interesting given my proclivity to math and science. I enrolled in a couple of courses and discovered it was kind of interesting, I'll admit I didn't fall in love with it straightaway but it did scratch my itch for problem solving. Fast-forward 7 years and I've carried on with taking computer science courses and obtained a certificate and diploma in Computing and Information Technology and I'm 5 months away from completing my BSc in Computer Science. Oh and that itch I mentioned earlier? Since I started at WANdisco as a Test Engineer and moved over to a Software Engineer, it's now become an obsession. I love my job! I love everything about what I do and the environment I work in. We develop replication technology and apply that to version control software, notably Subversion, and are extending our technology to aid the Big Data market.

  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to be contacted about potential job shadowing by interested students.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Katherine Sheehan

I would definitely say that it is a possibility. There are several people I know who adopt a flexible way of working in this industry. They split their time between working at the office and at home on a regular basis, whether this is to look after children or just down to personal preference or for unadvertised reasons. I found this particularly useful when I recently suffered a fracture at the beginning of the year and couldn't make it in, and in the past when I've been ill and haven't wanted to spread my germs but still felt well enough to work. I even know one developer who likes to travel for 6 months of the year and codes from the beach when he needs to! Based on your brief description and the fact you want you do it part-time, it sounds like a viable option for you. Good luck pursuing your degree and your new career!

Please bare in mind that the above was related to a specific example and is just my opinion, as is what I'm about to say. With that being said, I wouldn't overlook the benefits of being able to discuss things face-to-face with your colleagues and the rapport you develop from working in the same office. I regularly make use of instant messaging and video conferencing to keep in contact with remote colleagues, but I still don't think you can beat working in the same office. Impromptu chats are more likely and I can't tell you the number of times I've overheard someone working on or struggling with something that I've had difficulty with, and have been able to walk over and explain how to tackle it or likewise asked for help.