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Julian: Associate Software Developer in the UK

Name: Julian B.
Job Title: Associate Software Developer, Enterprise Payments Platform

Launching a career from an internship

I started at Discover as an Application Intern. During the summer internship programme, I worked on developing an application to automatically gather information about other applications’ movements through various environments. After graduating, I began my full time role as an Associate Software Developer on the Enterprise Payments Platform. There are only a few payment networks of this scale, so getting to work on one of them is exciting.

Pick up new skills

When I started at Discover full time, I had just graduated. I wasn’t familiar with all the specific frameworks and technologies— I just knew the relevant underlying principles. The technology we work with moves at a quick pace, so my desire to pick up new skills and knowledge really helped me move from an “intern,” into a true software developer.

Becoming a tech expert as a new grad

I’m also part of the emerging talent programme. We dedicate time during the day to develop our skills. I’ve heard other employers demand really niche technical skills from new graduates. However, at Discover we recognize the underlying enthusiasm in new grads. We “new grads” may not have had time to dive into niche tech yet, but with investment and support, we can become proficient.

Starting work in a pandemic

I started work during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve noticed that to counteract the isolated nature of working remotely, my teammates make a conscious effort to reach out via meetings and messages even more, whether it’s to talk about work or just generally check in with each other. The virtual connection makes me feel welcome and made up for not being able to meet in person.

Don’t undervalue the soft skills

Even though I’ve only worked here for a short time, I’ve already grown both technically and professionally. Coming from a technical background, soft skills can be easy to undervalue. However, I really appreciate that I now feel far more comfortable speaking up during meetings and demos than I ever have before.

Noticing enthusiasm everywhere

People are genuinely enthusiastic about what they’re working on and it shines through in everything they do. Our tech teams really care about our work. That energy generates such a positive atmosphere— I know I’ll never take it for granted.

Presenting to senior leadership

Towards the end of my internship, all the interns gave individual presentations to a group of senior leaders. I was quite nervous leading up to the big day —presenting is not my strongest skill— but everyone was relaxed and friendly. The leaders asked questions about what I thought of the internship experience and were genuinely interested in what I had to say. The presentations were a great point to reflect on what I’d achieved during the experience.