Most people try to avoid software bugs. Brett Lapierre goes looking for them.
As a quality assurance technician for Microvellum Software, Brett’s job is to replicate and verify reported bugs in the company’s woodworking software before passing those bugs on to a team of developers to get fixed. Every day he diagnoses and troubleshoots software issues—and loves every minute of it.
A graduate of RCC’s computer science program, Brett originally planned to transfer to a university, but he discovered he could secure an excellent job at Microvellum Software with his associate’s degree alone.
“I decided that RCC was just that foundation I needed to get my foot in the door,” Brett said. “I’ve been with Microvellum Software for over six months, and my plan is to transition into a software engineer role.”
Brett believes RCC prepared him well for his career path. Through courses in Java programming, C++ programming, database management, technical writing and more, he acquired a wealth of skills and knowledge, which he was then able to apply in the campus work study program. “The technology that we had access to was fantastic; we had all the Microsoft products we needed. We had all the processing power we needed, all the newest graphics —you name it, and we had it,” Brett said. “RCC was a great platform to springboard off of into the professional world.”
Brett was drawn to Microvellum Software because of the company’s unique products within an industry he enjoys. He interviewed and got a job offer immediately after completing his program at RCC. “It was really cool to see it all come together because I already had a job lined up right after graduation,” he said.
Several of Brett’s co-workers are also RCC students and graduates, which creates a fun connection in the workplace. It also serves as a reminder that RCC is an excellent training ground for good jobs right here in the Rogue Valley. Microvellum Software’s president, David Fairbanks, agrees.
“Finding talent is always a challenge, especially in this industry, and the combination of software and woodworking makes it very interesting. So finding talent using resources like RCC has been a benefit for us,” David said. “When Brett came here, he was able to hit the ground running and get into our culture and fit in with the guys here and the way they work. He is a great employee.”
Microvellum Software’s mission and vision is to groom and equip leaders so they can streamline and grow. David believes producing a product is a shared responsibility between the employer, student, and school—like a three-legged stool.
“When you come right out of school, there’s a lot of great knowledge that the RCC student has, and it’s our responsibility to help hone those skills into exactly what we need as the employer. And it’s the student’s responsibility to really begin to connect those dots between what they learned in the lab at school and the reality of working and making themselves be a leader that way,” David explained. “So, absolutely, RCC can provide a technical background—and we need more and more of that in this industry for sure.”
Brett’s experiences at RCC and Microvellum have sparked a lifelong love of technology. He is now expanding his knowledge through self-study during his off hours. “Usually when I go home, after I hang out with my wife, maybe watch a few shows, then it’s game time,” he said. “I’m putting in a lot of extra hours on my own, developing and coding and honing all these skills. I have a desire to keep progressing with both my personal and professional life.”
An avid supporter of RCC, Brett recommends community college hands-down over a four-year university. “If you’re serious about going to college, RCC has all the resources that anyone could ever need to get you started, whether that be scholarships, work study, access to technology, the teachers, the support from the staff. You can get the same education as a university more affordably at a community college,” he said. “So for me it was no-brainer—RCC all the way. It definitely saved me a lot of money and, yeah, I’m pretty happy about it.”
Find your path at RCC. Learn more about our computer science programs and other degree options at roguecc.edu/start.