Tiffany-Jo Stansfield

What does a Software Engineering Associate do?

A Software Engineering Associate works to develop software to be used either internally by a company or designed for a particular customer application. Whilst usually hired because they have experience with certain software, it is more important that they have the ability to adapt to a wide range of programs.

What do you work in and what is your specialty?

Currently working on test automation. Essentially designing test scripts so that they can easily be used for multiple test cases instead of having to manually enter the same values over and over. Since programming is heading down an agile approach, there is a lot more testing of small functionality changes on a continuous basis as compared to the majority of the testing being performed once the whole system has been designed.
Soon I’ll be moving on to a build project. It involves taking user’s functionality requirements and implementing them in the program code. This next project is where I’ve had the most experience and where both my interest and specialty lies.

How did you become interested in this area and when did you first start?

I became interested in programming when I was first introduced to it back in my second year of University at QUT. For me, the appeal was in the infinite possibilities coding presents. It’s definitely one of those things you have a love-hate relationship with. From the frustration of knowing what you want your code to do, but actually getting it to do that, to the instant satisfaction upon getting a task to work.

What study path have you taken to get here?

I was fortunate enough to have a high school physics teacher suggest to me, in year 10, that I take the Engineering subject the high school was offering in conjunction with QUT. At the time, I had never heard of Engineering and had no idea what it entailed. After a little research and realisation that it involved a lot of maths and science, I thought it would be something I’d be suited to. Through this, I was able to complete a START QUT subject and gain an insight into what University would be like. After doing well in both my engineering, and other subjects, I managed to get accepted into the QUT Deans Scholars Program which provided me with a scholarship to attend QUT for a Bachelor of Engineering. On completing my first year at University I decided to undertake a Mechatronics Engineering degree due to the multi-disciplinary aspect. After completing my bachelors, I took a year off to travel before returning to University to undertake a Graduate Diploma of Computing at ANU and further advance the programming and IT skills I had gained at QUT. From there, I was hired as a graduate Software Engineer with Accenture Australia.

What do you like most about your job?

Being part of such a large company means you get presented with unlimited training opportunities and chances to travel both interstate and overseas. The job is all about seizing opportunities and taking charge of where you want your career to go. The resources are out there, you just need to know where to look and when to turn to others for advice.

Do you have any particular career highlights?

Whilst having only worked as a Software Engineering Associate at Accenture for a few weeks, the highlight so far has been the New Joiner training. I was lucky enough to start with nine other new employees who have been placed on various projects across the company. It was great to establish a connection with each of them and have colleagues who are in the same position as I, where everything is new. The training also introduced us to many senior employees in the company who were able to share their career journeys and the many exciting projects they’ve been a part of.

What advice would you give to someone interested in working in this area?

Be eager to learn and grow your skills. Nobody expects you to know everything when you’re starting out, but they do expect you to be willing to learn. Get your hands on as many different programs as you can and experiment with applications that interest you, because the more engaged you are, the more you will take away.


Tiffany-Jo Stansfield


Software Engineering Associate