University of Leeds Software Engineer
Up until now
My Thales career has been spent exclusively in a dynamic software department within Maritime Mission Systems in Cheadle, providing infrastructure components on all domains of sonar technology in one form or another. I produced a customised Operating System for the demonstrator of a submarine sonar system that could be used for testing before being fit to the actual ship. Then I provided a middleware and communications solution for our airborne sonar. Earlier this year, I was selected to form part of an AGILE scrum team and work remotely with our software department in Cambridge. This gave me the opportunity to take on some technical leadership.
My career has not just been defined by my job role. I regularly represent my colleagues in Maritime Mission Systems in Cheadle at a People Forum and I’m also an employee engagement champion. Both of these have enabled me to change our processes and make our working lives better. I’ve also been able to put something back into the graduate community. I get involved in recruitment activities, such as careers fairs, presentations and workshops on campus, as well as taking part in assessment centres and interviews for graduates, interns and apprentices.
PERSEVERANCE PAYS OFF
Not every project is plain sailing. I had to update some legacy test software – a steep learning curve because I had to update the software to match new requirements without having the real environment to test on during development. When I came to integration, the whole test suite fell apart, so I was back to the drawing board. I used my experiences of my first iteration to design some more reliable software that matched the requirements perfectly, and I got the chance to accompany my test software to the environmental test house and see it in action.
My goal is to become a Chartered Engineer and Thales has been with me all the way. The Graduate Development Programme includes courses in key engineering principles, and I’ve received technical training in C++. It’s all about growing as a balanced engineer. I’ve learned skills on the job by shadowing and peer programming, and have been given opportunities to investigate and present innovative research topics to improve our product line. Through self-study outside work, I’m gaining the technical skills required for the Oracle Chartered Java Professional qualification, which will be funded by Thales.