SEED Interview with Kara King

23 October 2017


flickr photo by Rajesh_India shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

As part of the SEED project, I recently talked with Kara King, a SAP developer at FirstEnergy. In this interview, Kara told me that students should be open to learning new programming languages. Kara also said that software engineers in industry face the challenge of eliciting requirements from business stakeholders. Finally, she stressed the importance of professional networking, encouraging people to pursue internships throughout their undergraduate education. Read Kara's responses to the three SEED questions to learn more about her unique perspective on the engineering of software in industry.

What is one fun fact that you can share about your company or a current project?

FirstEnergy has a wide range of jobs, with the information technology (IT) division focusing on the use of three different programming languages. So, there are always areas in which you can learn and grow at FirstEnergy! I use ABAP or the Advanced Business Application Programming language. ABAP is the language for SAP and is written in German — so if you know German, ABAP may be the development language for you!

What is the greatest challenge that you face when working in your field?

The greatest challenge I face as a developer at FirstEnergy is communicating with business stakeholders. As a developer you must take business requirements and turn them into code — however, many times the business clients do not even know themselves what they want in their desired product!

What is one point of advice that you can give to people who plan to enter your field?

Networking is a huge advantage when searching for a job. I still network in my current job in case I have a desire to "test the waters" in a different part of my company. Also, take advantage of internships — they get your foot in the door!

Do you have any questions about this interview? Or, do you have a response to Kara's ideas? If you do, then I hope that you will contact me to share some of your thoughts. Or, do you want to be updated when I publish new interviews in this series? If you do, then please subscribe to my mailing list.

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