Career Path: Ryan Fournier, Lead Software Engineer at HeathcareSource
What do the career path and day-in-the-life look for a Lead Software Engineer at HealthcareSource look like?
We connected with Ryan Fournier to find out!
Also, HealthcareSource is hiring! Click here for all of the company's job openings.
Where did you grow up? What did your parents do for work?
I grew up in the small town of Pepperell, Massachusetts. My mother is a systems analyst, and my father is a driver for a natural gas company.
Where did you go to college? What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?
I went to the University of Massachusetts Lowell. I studied information technology with a focus in computer science-related courses. I also received a minor in business during my time there. Initially, during and right after college, I was doing freelance Web Development for small businesses and shortly after that, I began working at HealthcareSource as a Web Developer.
What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?
I attribute most of my success to passion and flexibility. I have always wanted to develop software dating back to my early high school days, and I still love doing it today. For flexibility, I learned that when a challenge is presented, regardless of how hard the task may be, embracing it and completing it with a positive attitude will open more opportunities in the future. There will always be those assignments that nobody wants to do, but it’s essential to your managers, employees and beyond. In the end, it helps to drive others around you to do the same and has helped me become a better leader.
Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Lead Software Engineer at HealthcareSource?
My current position is half development and half management. I am fortunate to lead and architect/design multiple projects in parallel and contribute to the developing of those projects. In addition, I am involved with mentoring others on those projects and provide direction to help get their tasks completed.
Any tips for someone considering a career in Software Engineering?
Software engineering is full of opportunities. I believe anyone that has the passion for building software can do it with the correct training. You should never say to yourself "I am not a X type of person, so I don't think I could do it". There is no perfect "type" of attitude, personality, etc. to become a software engineer. If you can be passionate about becoming a software engineer, then one day you will!
Day in the Life
Coffee, tea, or nothing?
What time do you get into the office?
I usually arrive between 7:30 and 9 AM. The time varies based on the day and my meeting schedule.
What are three things that motivate you in your role?
The first thing is the challenges that arise every day. In a typical day to day, something "unexpected" will happen large or small. This is not a negative thing, and it is just a challenge that I get to accept and work with my teams to solve.
The second thing is seeing growth. It is always exciting when you complete a tough task. It is even more exciting to help a direct report complete a task and see them get excited.
Lastly and most importantly client exposure. This can come in the form of face-to-face or simply word of mouth. Building software is a challenge, but in the end, there is no better feeling than seeing clients get excited to use things that I have built.
Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?
A typical day to day starts with syncing up with my teams and the projects that we are working on. Afterward, I get the chance to help anyone directly who has questions or needs a hand with something. After that, I catch up on any code reviewing that needs to be completed. Once that is done, I work on my own development tasks. Staggered a crossed this typical day to day would be responding to emails, chat messages, and attending meetings. This, of course, is very flexible, and the order may vary based on meeting schedules.
What time do you head out of the office?
Typically, between 3:30 and 4:30 PM. This time also varies based on the day and my meeting schedule.
Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?
I typically log in most nights of the week or at least have push notifications on my phone for my work emails and chats. This is however by choice as I have never been asked to work extra hours. I consider developing software also to be a hobby, not just a career.
Any productivity hacks?
Compiling some software solutions can take 30 seconds to 1 minute. Having two monitors is key. How long does it take you to read a typical email or respond to a quick chat? I bet there are some that take less than one minute. Multi-tasking can go a long way if it can be done without losing focus on your primary task. Also, as any Software Engineer will tell you, know and use your keyboard shortcuts!
What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?
Amazon - As dangerous as "Buy with 1 click" might seem, it saves you a lot of time!
Marriott - I use this all the time to book hotels for traveling. The point system is great.
Uber - There is nothing better than staying inside warm until you can see your driver pulling up from the map!
What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?
I am most proud of my ability to grow professionally in a company. Over the last seven years it was not always easy, but it was always exciting. Going from doing small, simple tasks to architecting brand new software and enhancements to existing software is a huge step towards where I wanted to be. The tasks I was completing went from small client specific enhancements to large client specific enhancements. After that, I was working on small application enhancements which progressed towards larger enterprise-level enhancements. This eventually grew into building new large, enterprise level applications from the ground up, making architecture and design decisions while doing so. I have certainly had many different job titles, but the more important thing is I took the opportunities to grow professionally as they came which is something that is ultimately important not just to my company but to me personally as well.
Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?
My mother has always been a great mentor to me. She understands the environment I work in and has also been through similar career advancements in the tech industry. Her encouragement has played a critical role in where I am today!