Borderless Careers

Date: 10/18/2012

Meet Brandon, Software Engineer

Location: Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Degree: Bachelor’s degree, computer science and mathematics
Institute: University of Texas at Austin, USA
Start Date: 2011

“The career development opportunities at Schlumberger enable me to move to different roles, move into management, and travel the world.”

Brandon first came to Schlumberger in 2007 as a summer intern working on the Ocean software development framework for the Petrel E&P software platform. After four consecutive summers as an intern he was hired as a full-time, permanent employee. Brandon works as a Software Engineer on a production operations software platform. In his first 18 months, Brandon has worked on five different products involving travel to Norway, the UK, and the UAE.

What initially attracted you to a career with Schlumberger?
Because I grew up in Houston, I knew several people who worked for oil companies and for oilfield service companies. All of them told me what a great company Schlumberger is to work for and how well they treat their employees.

I knew a career at Schlumberger would allow me to apply what I had learned in school to real-world science and engineering problems. Most people don’t understand that we can only get a small fraction of the oil and gas we know about out of the earth and that solving hard technical problems with science and engineering is how we will be able to increase the amount recovered.


What does a Software Engineer do?
In short, a Software Engineer designs and writes code for new features in any of our products. In my business segment, this means responsibility for creating and testing new software features, and for fixing any errors when something doesn’t work. Software Engineers are involved in the complete life cycle of a product.

Has the training you’ve received at Schlumberger met your expectations?
To date, I’ve completed 29 different classes and modules covering a range of topics, such as how Schlumberger operates, domain training for the oil field and for oil and gas production, and training specifically targeted for Software Engineers, such as software architecture and the particular technologies that we use. The training program has exceeded my expectations. It’s also great to be able to do it alongside my regular job, which allows me to apply my work experience to the lessons learned in the class.

What has been the highlight of your Schlumberger career so far, and what do you enjoy most about your job?
I think the absolute best moment of my career so far was when the intellectual property lawyers told me that a patent had been filed under my name. It gave me a great sense of accomplishment to know that I am making a difference in the company.

From my first day on the job I was given a lot of responsibility. I really like that I can make a real difference because no one is holding back the reins.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?
By far, it’s time management. Aside from my daily work of designing and developing code, I’m involved in recruiting, internship projects, and our fixed-step training program. No one tells me, “Well, today you need to do X, and tomorrow you can do Y.” I have to figure out how to get everything done in a timely manner and with good quality. However, in my opinion, the atmosphere here is more relaxed than in some other environments in the software development world.

What advice do you have for someone considering a career as a Schlumberger Software Engineer?
A career at Schlumberger is definitely not for everyone. Schlumberger employees are extremely self-motivated and team-oriented. You must be willing to really put your brain to work to solve difficult and puzzling problems, and as my team likes to say, “If it was easy, we would have done it already."

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