Academic environment

I was attracted to the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) because it’s science-driven and has an academic feel to its working environment.

It’s allowed me to learn a huge amount about science, both in the day-to-day working environment, and by being encouraged to attend conferences and on-site lectures. I’ve also had the privilege of touring the JET fusion reactor at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.

I work as a software developer on the controls system used by scientists at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, near Oxford. My position offers plenty of variety, from writing device drivers for beamline equipment to improving the user interface.

The biggest challenge comes from trying to keep a usable shared repository of information. Such large projects have many moving parts, with an extensive team involved. My working day is centred around progressing through a prioritised backlog, liaising with other team members and supporting the scientists on each project.

Being a large worksite, there's also a range of activities on offer for staff at the STFC beyond the scientific, from football to language courses.

How I secured employment

Having a good, relevant degree from a top UK university was one of the main reasons I was recruited into this role. During my master’s, we've learnt to manage projects more or less independently, resulting in me now being the team's expert on interface and usability questions.