06 April 2021

The opportunity to make a difference

The Opportunity to make a difference, Agworld

It’s been over a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I think it’s safe to say that it has changed everyone’s life to a certain extent. Living and working in Perth, I think we’ve been relatively lucky in that we’ve only had a short lockdown period and things went pretty-much back to normal soon after, but I still sense a lot of small changes in many aspects of life. One of these changes that I see in the technology industry across the globe, is the increased desire from software engineers, like myself, to make a positive difference through their daily work.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that software engineers pre-covid didn’t want to make a difference; as a matter of fact the last pre-covid Stack Overflow survey shows that 20.8% of developers rate “How widely used or impactful my work output would be” as one of the three factors that most influences choosing one job over another. The pandemic has, however, given us a more acute awareness of the significance of our vocation, given that the majority of our lived lives are spent in the workplace.

So what does it mean to make a difference? I guess that’s a definition that everyone will have to determine for themselves, but in general it means that you are actively working on something that you believe will have a positive impact on a group of people, or that seeks to solve a particular problem that’s worthwhile solving. I find that it’s quite easy to lose track of the ‘big goal’ that I’m working towards every day. I think we all do sometimes when we narrow our focus on specific tasks, but it is still important to reflect on this regularly and keep things in perspective.

The big goal that I am working towards together with everyone else at Agworld is to help growers in many different countries produce better crops with higher yields and helping them remain profitable while continuing to be good stewards of the land and environment. We do this by connecting them to their agronomist, simplifying their budgeting and planning, and making it easier to track their in-field applications. Sound complicated? It is. Which makes me thankful to be working with a great team of people who all bring individual qualities that complement the team and help us “eat this elephant, one bite at a time”.

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If we want to be able to feed 10 billion people in 2050, farms around the world will have to become more productive on a sustainable basis. With this “helicopter view” it becomes a lot more apparent why we’re doing what we’re doing every day and how we, as individuals, are able to make a difference. So, if the social effects from the pandemic have you feeling a bit down and disillusioned, it might be worthwhile to relax for a few minutes, take a helicopter view of your job, and everything will seem a lot more exciting again!

Alternatively, if you would like to become part of Australia’s Agtech success story and help feed the world’s growing population, have a look at our careers page - Agworld is always looking for good software developers to join the team and help us achieve what we’re all striving towards!

Stephen Wrathall

Stephen Wrathall

Head of Developer Experience

Stephen Wrathall holds a Bachelor’s degree with honours in Computer Engineering from the University of New South Wales and has been part of the Agworld Development team for almost 9 years. Having started as Senior Software Developer, Stephen then became Lead Developer and is currently Head of Developer Experience at Agworld. Stephen is a ‘Ruby on Rails’ and ‘API’ expert, and is passionate about improving the day-to-day and long term experience and effectiveness of Agworld developers.

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