It goes without saying that our team of developers play a pivotal role in the projects we deliver – and, as a result, an important part in helping police forces, local councils, NHS Trusts and more enhance their processes and the experiences they deliver.
We caught up with Developer, Devin Miller, to explore what the role entails and find out what advice he might have for anyone looking to follow the same path.
I’ve been a part of the Tisski team since March last year. Before I joined Tisski, I’d been feeling stagnant in the Solutions Analyst role I had at the time and was actually on the lookout for learning and growth opportunities. Someone reached out to me about the Developer role, and it happened to be perfect timing and a great fit.
My interest in technology actually sparked from a completely different career. When I left school, I went into mechanical engineering and spent a year and a half handling Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling machines, manual milling machines and building press tools for well-known automotive companies. It was through programming the CNC machines that I fell in love with programming. Once I realised that I was more drawn to the IT side of engineering, I left and went back to college to do a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Software Development.
After college, I got an apprenticeship at an infrastructure group and, through that, secured a place at university to do a work-based degree. I graduated with BSc (Hons) in Software Development for Business in September of 2022 while working at Tisski. The support I received from Tisski while I was studying was amazing and it’s safe to say that since leaving the workshop in 2016 to pursue a career in technology, I’ve never looked back!
Probably a strange answer, but each week is very much the same but different. Typically, I’ll be working through requirements on projects, speaking with clients, and collaborating with other people involved in a project, all to ensure that the solution we deliver is the best it can be – not always in that order, but those are the typical things I’d be doing throughout the week.
When I’m not working on a Dynamics or Power Platform project, I’m still immersing myself in the tech world, learning new aspects of the technologies I perhaps don’t yet have as much knowledge of, or ones that I have previously found challenging. Since there is no way to prepare for the unknown, I think it’s important to make sure you are as prepared as possible through continuous learning.
There are so many aspects of being a developer that I enjoy. I particularly love working with new technologies and learning from the challenges that every new project brings. When new challenges do present themselves on a project, the collaboration with colleagues and knowledge sharing within the team is another massive part of being a developer that I really enjoy. Everyone at Tisski is so open to sharing what they’ve learnt and lifting one another up. As someone in the early stages of their career, I feel blessed to be a part of an environment like that.
Being early in my career also means I’m being exposed to a lot of new challenges all the time – bit that’s really helped my growth over the last year. With technology like the Power Platform, it grows and changes so rapidly that it can be tricky finding the time to stay on top of it all. I often remind myself, though, that everyone is in the same boat, and that this is the best challenge to have.
Over Christmas 2022, I worked with on a small project doing Canvas App development and redesign for a client who deliver employer and health programmes for the government and other organisations, too. The app would be used business-wide to allow users to book out a resource's time to work on specific records within Dynamics. It was my first time creating an embedded Canvas App and I was working really closely with a colleague, Paul (who has now moved on from Tisski) but I gained such a lot of insight from his years of experience as a Developer. Everything Paul taught me has been put to good use in projects I’ve worked on since then and I'm looking forward to developing that particular skillset more in the near future.
If I was to answer this question for my younger self specifically, I would want to know that the work is challenging and there is a lot to learn, all the time. But it's important to know that the reward of the final product is well worth the challenge.
I would also suggest self-learning by creating solutions related to things that you enjoy outside of work. Creating something you're passionate about always speeds up the learning process and will benefit your work going forward.