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Laura's Journey from Summer Placement Student to Senior IT Practitioner

Laura initially joined the Met Office on our 12 week Summer Placement Scheme in 2014 following her graduation from University. Within less than 3 years, Laura has developed from a promising graduate to a skilled and valued Senior IT Practitioner within the Met Office's highly respected IT programme. Laura talks about her journey so far.

What attracted you to the Met Office?

A friend had been a summer placement the previous year and had really enjoyed it so I decided to apply for the summer after I finished university. I had studied Physics at university so I liked that, although I was moving into software development, I wasn’t completely turning my back on science.

 

How did you start working at the Met Office?

I started as a summer placement. Fortunately, the team I did my summer placement with were recruiting so I applied for a permanent position and got it!

 

What kind of training and development opportunities have you had at the Met Office?

I have attended two conferences and a few training courses. We are also given a monthly allowance of time to work on personal development.

 

What experience have you gained while at the Met Office?

My job covers a wide range of different roles including software development and maintenance, support and teaching. I have also had the opportunity of planning and leading a portion of a project.

 

How did you become a Senior Software Developer/Senior IT Practitioner?

I started as a summer placement then got a permanent position in the team as a Software Developer. Recently I was progressed to a Senior Software Developer.

 

What sort of things have you been doing in the last 12 months?

I have worked on software deployment to a range of different platforms including the HPC. I have also worked alongside various science teams, helping them to write their own software.

 

What do you get up to day to day?

On development, I am mostly writing or reviewing code, often doing a lot of pair programming. On support, I am fixing bugs or helping users to solve problems with their code.

 

What does the role involve that people might not expect?

Teaching! To help the users of our software get started, we run training courses teaching how to use it. That was certainly something I hadn’t expected to do when I started.

 

How do you think your career might progress at the Met Office?

I am undecided at this moment. I think the next step I would take would be to explore a different area of technology within the Met Office. Fortunately, we're spoilt for choice!

 

What does the Met Office give you that you feel you couldn’t get elsewhere?

Opportunity! I get to try a lot of new things and so, despite only being here for a short amount of time, I have gained a lot of experience.