Chris, Cambridge, Computer Science

Casebooks Chris

I applied to Ensoft in 2001, at the start of my final year of Computer Science at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The application process was refreshingly simple: I simply sent off my CV and was invited for a short first interview with the two directors and to sit a short aptitude test. My dazzling personality obviously shone through and I was offered a job before Michaelmas term of my final year had even finished. It was a great relief not to have the burden of looking for a job whilst revising for my finals!

I started work in September 2002, along with two other new starters. We were given a series of presentations and practical sessions (consisting mainly of programming exercises and router work), designed to equip us with the necessary skills for real work as quickly as possible. It didn't take very long for me to be thrown in at the deep end; I was assigned a mentor and put on a real project working with a remote team, writing production code. Although this was challenging, having the support of your mentor and the rest of the team means that you always have someone to turn to if you have an issue or question.

After a stint on my first project, I was transferred to another that was centred in San Jose, California.

To bring myself up to speed with the new project and to become fully integrated into my new team, I and another Ensoft engineer spent 3 months in California working with them. This was a great experience; we worked hard but still had time to visit San Francisco, tour Yosemite national park and, of course, lap up the Californian sunshine! This project also involved working with absolute cutting edge hardware and the software required to drive it, so it kept my technological curiosity piqued.

I've since changed projects again, once again doing something completely new and am now working with a team in Israel, meaning more opportunity to work in new locations.

Of course, when you work hard, you need to play hard ;-). Luckily, at Ensoft we have a small and sociable group of people to wind down with. The office is open plan and 'office banter' is encouraged. Even the directors sit in the same area, with the offices only used for meetings. No getting lonely in an isolated cube!

The company organises many social events, from an evening at the pub, to weekends away (such as a walking weekend in the Lake District, as well as the trips to Athens and Iceland). There's also a healthy dose of sport, with 5 - (or 3, or 7) a - side played twice a week. I've taken advantage of these games to improve my skills from awful to mediocre but I don't think I'll be joining the premiership just yet!

Ensoft has been an extremely rewarding place to work. Looking back, I can't think of much that could be done to improve the work experience.

I'm constantly challenged, get the opportunity to travel and work with extremely competent people on advanced projects. This all adds up to a job I'd quite happily recommend to anyone.