One of my first projects was to deploy certificate generating machines to different sites across the world – my introduction to legacy software which was probably written when I was at school! I had to reverse engineer some of the functionality from a current setup and upgrade the security to future proof the system. Since then, I’ve been part of a team in Cambridge responsible for bringing in an AGILE framework for developing our software. We adopted a scrum approach and I was selected as Scrum Master, which involved acting as a coach for the AGILE process. AGILE has now been rolled out across all Thales projects.
I’ve been working closely with one of our engineering managers to ensure that Thales e-Security continues to lead the way. I recently organised a 24-hour ‘hackathon’. It was open to all and people could work on anything they wanted. There were some brilliant suggestions for innovation methods and I presented them to the Thales UK software executive board, which gave me exposure to some of our most senior engineers. Given how well received the event was across the company, this is probably my biggest achievement so far in my Thales career.
I took part in the Big Bang fair, a large science and engineering exhibition for children. This is one of the many extra-curricular activities on offer at Thales that allow you to experience new things and provide something useful for others. I was part of a committee of graduates given full responsibility of our stand and a budget to spend. I took charge of designing a game for the event, which involved the children navigating a robot around a maze. A number of sites and different businesses were represented on the committee, giving me the chance to meet new people.
The social side of the graduate programme is really good as you get to meet so many people, some of them on a regular case at training. I went on a snowboarding trip this year with a group of graduates from different sites; next year, we’re looking at expanding and formalising the trip to make it available to everyone. On our site, we also have ‘Social Friday’ where a number of us attend a local pub for lunch and a chat about things other than work.