Sarah Kennelly, Administrative Officer & Developer, Dept of Education and Skills

Name is Sarah Kennelly. I’m an Administrative Officer & Developer with the Department of education and Skills. So day-to-day, obviously, as a developer I write code and I develop applications. Before I get to that stage I deal with our business users with the department to discuss with them how they do their business and what value we can give to them with a new software application to help them do their business. You need IT specific skills, like you know, you need to know how to code, obviously you need specialist dotnet coding, if you’re working in a dotnet application, you need to know Javascript. So, a lot of code-based stuff, but it’s specific to whatever application you’re working on. In addition to the technical skills, you’ll also need communication skills, an ability to collaborate – work with a team. Plus you need to Plan and organize work for yourself and for your team so the ability to manage people and manage workloads and work to deadlines is really valuable. Working on a project. Working towards that goal and seeing that project kind of come to life and eventually go live and being used by users within the department. You take something from just an idea to something concrete and actually working. That is really, really rewarding. I definitely found within my current role I am doing a lot of things outside the specific definition of the role which can be a challenge. So this kind of business analysis type skill which I didn’t have before coming into the public sector, and I never needed to have them. We’re kind of a smaller team, so you do kind of jump between roles a bit. You need to kind of quickly learn how to do those jobs even though you’ve never done them before so that’s quite challenging. But it also gives you a great range of experience as well and provides the ability to change direction if you need to or if you want to. The outside perception of the public sector is kind of big, non-changing, monotonous object, but it is quite dynamic inside. We’re working on new applications for business users all the time. We’ve got more projects lined up than we have people to work on so… It is definitely not monotonous – it’s definitely changing and the projects we’re working on are exciting – you’re doing new things you’re developing applications, mobile applications for various users in the Department, which is really rewarding and it’s not monotonous at all.

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