VertiGIS Software Developer
Fri, 28 Oct 2022

A Path to Software Development at VertiGIS  

All Blog Articles

“After working at VertiGIS as a student I thought to myself, “I wouldn’t mind staying here once I start my career”, and that’s exactly what I did. Now I can further my passions through a rewarding job at a company that offers great perks and fun opportunities. “- Kenneth Walker, VertiGIS Software Developer 

Each member of our VertiGIS team took a unique career path to get to where they are today. With the software industry being known to have lucrative opportunities for learning and growth, many often wonder how they can carve their own path into the software industry.  

We took some time to chat with Kenneth Walker, a Software Developer at our Victoria, Canada office, about the path he took to software and why he chose to focus his career on development. Kenneth shared with us why he chose VertiGIS, how he’s enjoying his software journey so far, and the advice he would give to young professionals looking to break into tech.   


How does your role as a Software Developer fit into the larger VertiGIS organization?  

[KW] I work at the VertiGIS office in Victoria on the VertiGIS Studio Mobile development team. So, I’m working on one of the foundational platforms that a lot of our other VertiGIS Studio technologies are built on top of. Essentially, I support a core VertiGIS product that other teams are extending and enhancing.  

Why did you choose to work as a Software Developer at VertiGIS?  

[KW] When I was 24, I was trying to decide what I wanted to do as a career. I really wanted to get a degree before I turned 30. I looked at the jobs that were out there and realized that software seemed to have a lot of opportunities. Thinking back on my childhood I imagined that working in software would be like helping my mom with her computer or troubleshooting internet issues – things I’d enjoyed doing. So, I decided to apply for a program at the University of Victoria in software and computer science. I’m super happy that I chose to study in that area. Once you get into the computer science realm there are a lot of directions that you can take. You can do a masters or a PhD and learn more about the cutting-edge innovations that are constantly being developed in the field. Or you can finish your bachelors and take a steady paycheck in the industry like I did. I’ve always loved technology and my passion grew throughout my education. Now I can further that passion through a rewarding job at a company that offers great perks and fun opportunities.   

Did you complete any internships early in your career? How did these experiences help prepare you for the role you have now? 

[KW] My first role at VertiGIS was a QA Co-op Student on the VertiGIS Studio Mobile development team. I started working with the team before the VertiGIS Studio Mobile product had even launched. It was an interesting time to join – and a great learning opportunity – because the team was still figuring out what features they wanted the product to have. Because I enjoyed my first co-op term so much, I came back for a software development term immediately after. I worked on a couple of small project, for example one related to icons and getting those all set up across the different platforms. That turned out to be a tricky thing to do and it required a lot of automated testing.  

After working at VertiGIS as a student I thought to myself, “I wouldn’t mind staying here once I start my career”, and that’s exactly what I did. When I graduated from university the VertiGIS Studio Mobile team didn’t have a QA person, so I was hired on for that role. Even though I loved QA, I knew I eventually wanted to be a Software Developer. Within a few months I was moved into a development role. 

Do you spend most of your time working independently or collaborating with others?  

[KW] I would say that it’s a mix of working independently and working with a group. When it comes to coding it’s just you and the computer.  But while I’m coding, I often find that I need to consult my team to know what direction to take or what to implement next. One area that requires a lot of teamwork is product experience and user interaction. If I’m prototyping something and feel like it’s almost there, I’ll consult other colleagues to get feedback and we’ll have a conversation around that.  

What has your experience been like working on a Product team?  

[KW] I’ve got a soft spot for the team I’m on. I started working on the VertiGIS Studio Mobile team in QA and then shifted to a development position. I love working on the different features our team develops – it’s exciting stuff. There’s also some flexibility in what we can work on due to the evolving nature of the tech industry. It’s been a great opportunity to explore the different technologies that are out there and learn how they can be applied at VertiGIS.  

What are your favorite coding languages to use at VertiGIS?  

[KW] We use C# a lot within my team. I’ve learned a lot about the language while working here and have come to appreciate it. It’s a pretty robust language. A lot of the other teams at VertiGIS use more web-based languages like typescript, JavaScript, and JSON so every once in while I’ll use one of those while we’re collaborating. I also like languages like Python that have low overhead so you can get things done quickly. I don’t get to use Python very often at VertiGIS, but it’s fun too.  

What advice would you give to someone early in their career as a Software Developer to prepare them for future success?  

[KW] I’d advise them to be flexible and open to learning. When I was in school, I realized that I don’t know a lot and there are a lot of things I need to learn. But I also realized that I’m capable of persevering and learning these things. In tech, we often have difficult problems we have to solve and knowing how to articulate your ideas and solutions can go a long way. It’s also important to be flexible and willing to admit when you’re wrong. It’s important to be open to doing extra research to validate what you know and better understand what you don’t. As new technologies are developed you need to be ready to learn about them – in tech we can’t be living in the past. That might mean changing something that you’ve been doing the same way for years. It’s important in this industry to never be afraid to learn and always be open to new ideas and ways of doing things.   

Curious how you can begin your own path to software development at VertiGIS? Check out the open positions we have around the world on our careers page.   

All Blog Articles