By: Vera, Software Developer
After nine years out of the workplace, I was ready to return to software development. The idea was challenging at first. Would my skills still be valued? Which company would be right for me?
To prepare, I attended seminars and technology deep-dives for people looking to return to software development work. McAfee offered a 12-week, full-time, compensation-based experience program which I was delighted to accept. Designed to help people successfully re-integrate into the workplace after time away, it’s part of McAfee’s strategy to help fill the cybersecurity skills gap and encourage diversity in the technology sector.
Everyone I spoke with at McAfee impressed me as they shared their roles and experiences with the company. I really liked the support, guidance and resources McAfee offered applicants—it gave me the confidence I needed to step back into work. It was clear McAfee would be the perfect starting point for me, my natural first choice when returning to work.
Part of the Team and Learning Fast
Joining McAfee’s Web Security Research software development group in Cork, Ireland, I felt welcome and part of the team from Day One. The culture is inclusive and welcoming, with creativity and new ideas welcomed.
Nine years out of practice and with experience in Java-based software, but none in cybersecurity, I had much to learn. I loved the way everyone in my team was always ready to help and support me.
The team uses the scrum development approach, members collaborating extensively on tasks in two-week sprints. We also use pair programming, working on tasks in pairs.
Scrum and pair programming were both new to me, but I quickly gained a comprehensive understanding of the technologies, techniques and tools as we bounced ideas off one another and addressed challenges together. It was great to develop skills and re-integrate with the workplace so rapidly.
I learned not only about security and McAfee’s solutions, but also about the Linux platforms they run on. I hadn’t done any Unix work since my graduate days, but the team provided support and advice whenever I needed it.
Make the Most of Your Placement
I’d recommend McAfee to anyone looking to return to the workplace. The company has been a great employer and a fantastic way to restart my career. Here are my top five tips for getting the most out of returning to work.
1. Do Your Homework
It’s important to find the right fit for you and your skills. Speak to team members to discover what the company is like, and the products, processes and technologies you’ll be working with.
2. Go Ahead – Apply!
Believe in yourself. You’ve had a good career and responsibilities in the past and your knowledge hasn’t evaporated. You can do even more in the future—I can attest to that. Wherever your next opportunity is, make sure it’s the perfect place to acquire skills and knowledge you may have missed during your time away.
3. Build Your Skills
Expand your expertise through Return to Work seminars and other resources. Review current technologies and thinking. Expand your capabilities and confidence!
4. Extend Your Network
Before and during your time at your placement company, develop connections with relevant people in your team, and in the industry as a whole.
5. Ask Questions
McAfee operates from a foundation of trust and respect. Questions get answers that support progress and development. If you don’t know, ask, either in your team or in your personal development sessions, an integral part of the program.
If you’re apprehensive, don’t worry – that’s normal! I was unsure when I first considered returning to work, especially after such a long break, but now I’m delighted to be back, and even more so to be working with McAfee in a permanent, full-time role.
It’s great to be part of a company that recognizes the capabilities of people who took time out of the workplace, investing time and resources to help us get that all-important foot back in the door. I didn’t know I could do it – now I know I can!
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About the author: McAfee
McAfee is the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company. Inspired by the power of working together, McAfee creates business and consumer solutions that make our world a safer place. Take a look at our latest blogs.
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McAfee is one of the world’s leading independent cybersecurity companies. Inspired by the power of working together, McAfee creates business and consumer solutions that make the world a safer place.