In the very first blog submission, Let’s Get Digital, Jeff Serpas had a quote that said “You cannot become a successful leader, and cannot inspire others, without being eager to explore all things digital (software, IT, data science, etc.) and get deep in technology.” This quote resonated strongly with me mainly due to my belief that in order for us as GE to become a top 10 software company by 2020, we need to deeply strengthen all aspects of the software lifecycle across all levels — from incubating ideas, gathering requirements from customers, creating and prioritizing backlogs, development, quality assurance and managing the project. A software and technology mindset, and just as critical previous hands on experience, has to exist across all these roles. Although some of us may not have been the pioneers that tackled this transformation at GE, I believe that DTLP members we will be the line of attack that will push us over the challenges to accomplish our vision.
With that said, I’d like to share with you all my experience through my 4 rotations and how it aligns with one of the many strengths of a rotation program — having the opportunity to explore and gain hands on experience across various roles and technology stacks.
Through my first 2 rotations, I got to explore a side of software development that I hadn’t had a chance to do prior to graduating. This included creating a POC for performing log analysis and visualization using the Apache Hadoop framework and R, creating reusable UI automation tests both for smoke tests and full regression tests, and putting in place the first iteration of a CI/CD system in place for the Proficy Enterprise product suite. After finishing these rotations, I left knowing that I would not want to off board as an engineer focusing on these tasks, however I took away the importance and various challenges involved in implementing these solutions and processes.
The next 2 rotations involved more full stack development experience, interacting with customers and creating our team’s backlog. In 2 rotations, I was able to work with a total of 3 different teams, each focusing on a different product at different maturity levels. I was able to serve as more than 1 of these roles at a time, creating and leveraging Predix Services, writing code, being on call with stakeholders to create our backlog and gather feedback. Being exposed and successful in all these opportunities is invaluable experience in preparing me to effectively lead a team of software engineers.
I could try to gain all these learnings and knowledge by reading resources, going through online training, or attending seminars on these topics, but nothing beats actually working through these challenges hands on and with a team. DTLP has provided me with this opportunity and gave me a wider understanding on how all the different aspects of software development play an important role and work with one another.
To conclude, as DTLPs, find what you are truly passionate for by exploring as many opportunities/roles as you can. This program may be fairly new with maturing to do, however the number of opportunities we can take advantage of is very prevalent!
About the Author
Adrian Gonzalez is a DTLP in his 4th rotation with GE Digital located in San Ramon, California. Currently his role as a developer with the Innovation and Services team involves working with internal and external customers to architect, design and develop Predix Solutions that will solve our customers’ IoT challenges. Previously, his work for GE has included performing unit and functional test automation for products in the Proficy suite, working as part of a group to define and establish a CI/CD pipeline for the Proficy Enterprise initiative, and working on the Predix Field Agent development team in improving performance and enabling communication with APM. Adrian graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology in Computer Engineering prior to starting with GE in 2015 and is currently doing his Masters in Computer Science through Georgia Tech’s Online Masters Program.