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Experience as a Senior Engineer at Dell Technologies, Cathal's Career Path

Cathal headshot.

Cathal M. | Principal Software Engineer | Cork, Ireland 

Originally Published: January 24, 2023

Can you describe your current role?

I'm currently a Principal Software Engineer in the Offer Independent Engineering team with APEX. I'm based in Cork, Ireland but I work fully remote. I've only been in the office a handful of times during my time here. Our group Is responsible for all the offer independent work within APEX. For example, some of the projects I've worked on are DCM (Dell Connectivity Module) and Orchestration.

DCM is a lightweight connectivity framework that can be used to enable bi-directional connectivity between the cloud and Dell assets, or endpoints sitting in a customer's data center. It primarily consists of Golang micro services deployed on Kubernetes and Dell assets. The Orchestration project provides a standardized solution to orchestrate the provisioning, monitoring and management of Dell offers within APEX. It's comprised of several Java based micro services which is deployed on Kubernetes too.

When did you join Dell Technologies? Could you share your career progression within the company?

I joined Dell in May 2021, as a Senior Software Engineer. In an engineering role, it's all about delivering value, so I always try to hit the ground running. I like to get involved as quickly as possible by upskilling on the tools and tech the team uses, asking lots of questions and contributing as soon as I can. My managers and teammates have been supportive and encourage this kind of mindset. I spent just over a year in that role, before being promoted to a Principal Engineer. Since then, I've been more involved in the design of the services we build and working with more stakeholders outside of my immediate organization.

How would you describe a day in the life as a Software Engineer at Dell Technologies, specifically within ISG/APEX?

I think the best way to describe life as an Engineer in APEX is to say it's fast paced, and that the role is constantly evolving. We are building lot's green field projects which allows you to get involved in all aspects of the software development lifecycle. From working with stakeholders and trying to get an understanding of their requirements, to designing complex systems from scratch. Also, contributing to design discussions all the way through to development, test and deployment.

Can you share a project or moment that you have been most proud of during your career at Dell Technologies?

My proudest moment so far has been the delivery of DCM (Dell Connectivity Module). It's the first project at Dell that I've been involved with from its inception all the way through to delivery. It's been a fulfilling project and impactful being able to deliver something with such value.

How has Dell Technologies contributed to your success?

I think the culture within Dell has been the biggest contribution to my success. I'm naturally a curious person and I found the managers and teammates are always encouraging this. Everyone seems happy to answer questions and people respect your point of view. I think this winning together mentality helps to foster strong and innovative teams.

What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you started?

Things move fast. Whether if its projects or tech stacks. I've worked on multiple projects with varying tech stacks in my short tenure here, and I've found you can't get too attached to them. We're constantly evolving and trying to solve new problems, so it's all about delivering quality value as quickly as possible.

Outside of work, what else do you enjoy?

I spend most of my time outside work with my wife, our 2-year-old son and our dog. We're expecting a second child in April too! We like to cook, bake, spend time outdoors and go for lots of nature walks. Outside of spending time with family, I love football and homebrewing. I've been a Liverpool fan all my life and watch every game, although it's getting more torturous these days. I've been homebrewing for the last 10 years. A brew session is slow and takes a couple of hours, but it’s a great way to wind down after a day's work, and who doesn’t love beer.

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