James, Cambridge, Physics

Casebooks James

I spent most of my university career having no idea what I wanted to do afterwards. I'd thought both about staying in academia and getting a job, dabbled in both and still didn't really know what I was doing. So when final year crept up on me I wasn't totally prepared for it! I eventually decided that as great as physics was I didn't like any one part of it enough to spend 3 more years on it, so a job it would be. Programming seemed a sensible place to start-I'd carried out one internship in that area and thought it was ok, and I'd enjoyed the various little programming tasks along the way in my degree.

The most off putting thing to me was always the interview process-I was just far too lazy! I didn't really fancy thousand page forms followed by endless travelling for interviews, and so my progress through applications was glacially slow. Naturally, Ensoft's application process was immediately attractive. I could send my CV off, be done in 5 minutes and still feel like I'd made progress! A quick poke around also suggested it might be the kind of thing I'd enjoy, so I fired off the email thinking I had nothing to lose.

The whole process was a logic test followed by a quick chat. I'd never call an interview enjoyable, but in this case it wasn't stressful at all-just a chat about my CV, university life and what I was doing. I had seen a bit of programming before, but would never have claimed to have enough experience to know what I was doing-this didn't turn out to be a problem at all. Everyone throughout was very friendly, and overall I got a good impression from being there. I was therefore really pleased to get an offer a few weeks later-not least because my other applications had stalled miserably in the face of endless forms! After some (not much) thought, I was more than happy to accept.

Fast forward a few months and it's time to actually start. The 7 of us starting are thrown together into a room and given some tasks to get us up to speed with coding. In theory this could be quite daunting, but in practice there's plenty of help to get you feeling comfortable. It's also good fun having everyone in it together-the atmosphere is quite relaxed, and it's a good way to get to know the people you start with. There's also lunches taken out with the rest of the company, which really helps with getting to know everyone. This goes on for the first 3 weeks or so, and is a great introduction to software engineering and the skills required for the job.

Since then, I've been in a team of 4 doing real work on a variety of projects. The work has been consistently interesting and challenging, and it's great that I'm making real contributions to my team so quickly. As well as the work there has been a variety of social events, ranging from bubble zorb (in which you run around in a giant inflatable ball and try and knock each other over) to an evening out at one of the highest restaurants in the UK. On a smaller scale, there are also plenty of lunchtime activities going on, from football to board games, meaning there's always a good work-life balance. Overall I'm really enjoying being here!