After I graduated from Maynooth University Computer Science & Software Engineering in 2003 I moved to London and started work for a market research company called ClientKnowledge doing mostly web development using ASP but also was doing some Excel programming with VBA. I left after 10 months as the person I worked with and from whom I was learning everything, left the company.
At that stage I saw that the language .NET (C#) was kicking off so I wanted to get some experience there. I joined another company called Euromonitor and worked there for 2.5 years. That’s where I really learned C# and got my confidence.I then moved to Sydney Australia and got a job in an eLearning company called Mathletics. I was keeping an eye on the job market and saw that finance companies paid the most so decided to try get in. I ended up with a job in the Investment Banking company Goldman Sachs. I stayed there for 2.5 years after the learning curve levelled off.
I then returned to London and decided to be an IT Consultant. For the last number of years I’ve been consulting under my own Ltd company. I’m currently on contract with Swiss Investment Bank Credit Suisse.
This is a Front Office role implementing Risk Management systems using .NET, Sybase and Oracle.
If this is something in which you're interested, a career in software development is very easy in my opinion. You can make a lot of money for relatively little effort. Daily rates for an IT contractor in investment bank are approx £500-600p/d.
The best two pieces of advice I can give is keep up to date with the technologies you use and most of all make sure you are always working with people who know more that you do - have a mentor, keep your eyes and ears open and absorb everything you can