Joe, Cambridge, Maths

Casebooks Joe

For most of my time at university, I'd been too busy getting frustrated with the latest example sheets (or going out unicycling to avoid looking at them) to give much thought to what I wanted to do afterwards. At the start of third year I figured I should probably start giving this some thought. Software engineering seemed like it might be a good thing to do with a maths degree, so I was keeping an eye out for any software companies which didn't require previous coding experience, and soon found a couple of Ensofters at a careers fair. A brief conversation with them was enough to convince me that Ensoft was worth an application.

As every other casebook probably mentions, the application process was delightfully straightforward - particularly in comparison to the few assessment centres I'd been to by that point in the term. The interviews were relaxed, and got straight into discussing a couple of interesting problems rather than wasting time with waffly questions. A couple of weeks later, I had an offer - and after a quick trip to the office, accepted it. Everything was sorted by Christmas, leaving me free of job-related stress for the rest of the Cambridge year.

On starting in September, the new starters were thrown together for a few weeks of initial training - which was great fun, despite being on crutches for most of it. We worked through a few programming exercises - initially simple enough for those who, like me, had no real programming experience, but quickly getting more challenging. A few (more experienced) Ensofters were around as mentors to help us through the inevitable bugs, and before long we were ready to join teams.

I've been at Ensoft for just over a year now, and it's a great place to work. The programming itself is interesting, always providing new challenges; the office environment is relaxed, and there are always people ready to talk through awkward problems or discuss design questions. Our team has finished one big project and is in the middle of a second - we've had a couple of members changing around, but everyone's been a pleasure to work with. A few of us head down to London after work for some bouldering once or twice a week, and there are loads of other social events happening for those less inclined to dangle off climbing walls. A trip to Stockholm earlier this year was a particular highlight.

In short, whether you've always wanted to work in software, or you're just looking for something to do after uni, I'd very much recommend applying.