As a software and services company dedicated to innovation and top-notch solutions, we pride ourselves on having a stellar global Development team with well-defined opportunities for advancement. You can learn about our development approach and how we work to address our customers’ challenges in this Q&A with Executive VP of Research and Development Matt Bresnan.
Spotlight Role: Software Engineer
There are many types of software engineers at Fortra, and each team member plays a role in enhancing and maintaining existing software products and developing new ones. These creative problem solvers have a strong desire for excellence and collaboration and rely on their technical expertise to get the job done. They design, develop, document, test, and debug software systems and/or applications to prepare them for customers.
Wondering What It’s Like?
We asked several of our software engineers how they spend their days at Fortra.
As a software engineer at Fortra, a typical day for me is working on tasks that are part of my team’s sprint. My team runs on a two-week sprint cycle, with a retrospective and sprint review at the end of each one. We have a quick daily stand-up as well as various weekly meetings, such as sprint planning and backlog refinement. One thing I love about my team is that we don’t shy away from having fun. I have been dubbed my team’s CFO (chief fun officer) and run an hour-long gathering every other Friday, during which we play games. Our favorite is Codenames, and we’ve also had lively debates playing Wavelength.
As far as career growth and development within engineering, there are many opportunities for learning new skills and technologies. The department provides access to several learning tools, and we can also find our own. Last year, I completed AWS training, which gave me the opportunity to advance my AWS certificate. As a part of a UI overhaul project over the last few months, I’ve been able to learn React and many other front-end technologies. I also appreciate that Fortra has a quarterly review process in which we evaluate progress on existing goals and generate new ones with our managers. The review process and technical training have given me multiple opportunities to grow in my career.
As a software engineer, my days are never the same, which is just the way I like it! I work on code for Tripwire's modern agent ecosystem. In addition, I work with a variety of different teams to help solve problems at many different levels for our customers. I love the fact that I get to learn new things both big and small every day!
My day-to-day involves hacking around at my home office, either helping a teammate, in a meeting planning something, or knee-deep in a coding project. The entire job is fun, to be quite honest. I specifically love solving puzzles, and that's essentially what the whole process of software development is about.
Fortra has done some unique things for our team. We all flew out to the HQ in Minneapolis from across the U.S. and Canada to meet and have fun, as well as plan a lot of the large projects we’re working on now and will tackle in the future.
From a career growth perspective, the number one thing I see in my day-to-day is knowledge. I have access to LinkedIn Learning, and I can get reimbursed for the books I read for the Yammer Developer Book Club, which was designed to expand our horizons and increase our prowess and breadth of knowledge as software engineers.
I’m a software engineer working on the Powertech Event Manager product. My job consists of planning and developing new features for our product and resolving support tickets. A typical workday starts with an email check and a little bit of personal planning regarding unfinished and remaining tasks, support cases I’m working on, and new ones that have come in. Then the whole team gathers for our daily meeting where everyone explains what they did the day before, if they encountered any problems (and whether anyone is needed to help), and what they are going to do today. The rest of the day is a mix of tasks, meetings, and education.
I start my day with a stand-up meeting, sharing updates about the work I’ve done and what I’ll be doing. Then I switch to working on features, customer cases, etc. I’m currently working on the Globalscape team, which is an interesting product. As I’m fairly new to Fortra, I’d like to learn more about software security and system programming in general. I was previously working on a product that focused on analysis and monitoring of cloud infrastructure. Now I’m working on a software security product, which has been an opportunity for career growth. As for having fun, our team enjoys group lunches and team-building activities.
I joined Fortra in 2018 as a software engineer on the GoAnywhere MFT Yerevan team in Armenia. We have great people working on five projects: a Windows desktop app, Mac desktop app, Android and iOS mobile apps, and an Outlook plugin. It was fun working on each of these projects, and I enjoyed switching from one technology and OS to another. During this time, my position changed to senior software engineer and then to principal software engineer.
Starting in 2021, I moved to the Titus Illuminate team to focus on product enhancements. I became a principal software engineer, leading and hiring people for our team in the Yerevan office. Later in 2021, I joined the Data Classification Engineering team and now work on the Policy Manager project. I’m a product owner but continue to work as a developer as well.
One thing I love at Fortra is the Hackathon event. This happens twice each year, and it enables us to explore our ideas with other team members. Hackathons give us the chance to work on something very different than what we usually do, so it’s a fun event.
I'm a senior developer with the FileCatalyst team. We joined Fortra in 2020. If I'm not in the middle of an interesting problem, my day usually starts with checking email to see how the build went the night before. If there are any issues with our unit or integration tests, that takes priority, and I get to work on anything that’s in my ballpark. From there, I look at issues in Jira and figure out what my next task will be.
There’s always the possibility of hearing from our excellent support team and giving them a hand if they are running into something complicated with a customer or working with our diligent QA team as they help improve our product. One of the nice things we've been doing since moving to remote work is to make sure we have a team chat up and running where the developers can hang out and banter.
I am a DevOps engineer working with Tripwire. My day-to-day activities include supporting the software development lifecycle from coding and deployment to maintenance and updates. About 50% of my day-to-day activities include anticipated work such as keeping our core infrastructure up and running and optimized, planning and implementing software and system upgrades, addressing security vulnerabilities, and patching. A good portion of my day goes by helping different R&D teams with complex build and deployment issues, releases, and server creation.
My favorite projects include working with server infrastructure and operating systems such as Linux and Windows, VMware, and continuous integration and continuous deployment (CICD) projects. I want to learn more about infrastructure as Code (IaC) technologies, and I’d like to gain in-depth knowledge of cloud technologies such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and the Google Cloud platform. Fortra management is supportive of career growth and does frequent follow-ups on our progress. Currently I’m on the promotion track for the DevOps engineer III role.
I work with the ARC team as a senior software engineer. I spend most of my day developing new features. We also maintain the documentation of every requirement. We have daily scrum standup meetings to share updates about our tasks. We have sprint planning and backlog refinement meetings every other week. We have spec review meetings to understand requirements for the upcoming feature. Fortra provides learning tools such as LinkedIn Learning, which really helps us to acquire new skills. The cross-product training sessions are also great to learn more about other Fortra products.
My typical day as a software developer starts with a stand-up where we discuss our work. The day is usually well planned (thanks to sprint planning), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any surprises! I know what to do, but how to do it can be a different story. Technology can be very unpredictable sometimes. I do a lot of problem-solving using Google, analysis, and collaboration, which saves my day! It gives me my daily dose of adrenaline.
As a software engineer at Fortra, I have the opportunity to learn something new each and every day. I get the chance to work on a variety of projects that directly impact our customers. My role is unique in that I split my time between being a security subject matter expert for the GoAnywhere MFT product and being a traditional software engineer. I dig into security questions, write security documentation, improve the overall security posture of the product and the team, and build new features for GoAnywhere MFT. The diversity of my role allows me to become a more well-rounded engineer.
In the four years I’ve been with Fortra, I’ve had numerous opportunities to grow personally and professionally. I started with the company as a technical support analyst and was given the chance to join the Development team in 2020. Throughout my time here, I’ve worked with a variety of technologies, collaborated with people across the organization, worked on a very diverse set of projects, attended the Black Hat conference, and been encouraged to obtain certifications that will grow my career. My managers and coworkers are always extremely supportive and have consistently presented me with opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and explore something totally new. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’m presented with every day, and I look forward to continuing to work on exciting and challenging projects.