Employee Q&A - Chris

Employee Q&A - Chris

With over 90 people now employed at Enable and growing, we have forged strong relationships with some of the best universities, recruiting the brightest students that they have to offer. In fact, 79% of our analysts and developers graduated from one of the top 25 universities featured in the Guardian university league table. As a growing software company, we are particularly focused on recruiting high achievers in numerate subjects, with 66% of our employees holding an undergraduate degree in either Maths or Science, and 41% attaining a master’s or PhD in their chosen field of study. This provides us with excellent employees who not only possess outstanding technical skills, but also the ability to translate that knowledge into highly effective business solutions. Chris graduated from Nottingham University with a degree in Physics before completing a PhD in Nuclear Fusion from Warwick University. He joined Enable as a Trainee Software Engineer, then progressing to his present role as an Engineering Manager. He liaises regularly with the Operations Director and other Engineering Managers to identify short and long-term goals. They are responsible for identifying and planning the adoption of new technologies as well as regularly reviewing current practices, recruitment and appraisals. After being with the company for over six years, Chris offers his thoughts on his experience so far as an Engineering Manager at Enable.

Why did you decide to become a software engineer?

During my PhD I spent a lot of time addressing unsolved physics questions through researching and developing original software. What started out as a quite a mathematical and theoretical project soon turned into a computational physics PhD as I found that I enjoyed writing software to solve complex challenges. By the end of my PhD I was convinced that I wanted to continue developing software more than I wanted to continue in an academic role. I wanted to continue to build things.

How much experience with software engineering did you have before joining Enable?

A large part of my PhD was spent writing software. However, the type of software I was writing was radically different to what we develop at Enable. So while I was able to bring some of the principles of good software development that I’d learnt during my PhD to my role at Enable, I didn’t have much experience with the technologies that we use at Enable.

What initially attracted you to work for Enable?

My first impression of Enable was incredibly positive. Enable were clearly a company focused on building great software that put people first, and a company who really valued continual learning. I saw Enable as somewhere that I could combine my enthusiasm for writing great software with my desire to carry on learning and pushing myself, and that has certainly proved to be the case.

Tell us about your average day at Enable.

As an Engineering Manager my days are split between writing software and being a line manager for a team of developers. The most important part of my role is coaching and mentoring members of my team, helping them to work as effectively as possible, and helping them to develop professionally. The Engineering Manager role is still very technical however — most days I am focused on designing and writing software for our clients, and other days will be spent supporting software that we’ve already delivered or planning and estimating for the next round of projects we’ll be working on.

How would you describe the culture and working environment?

I’d say that the culture at Enable is open and relaxed but driven to achieve. We value transparency and honesty, and we work closely together to deliver the absolute best quality result that we can. The working environment is great. It’s modern, spacious, and, above all, it’s calm — this lets people focus on their work without unnecessary distraction.

What do you enjoy most about working at Enable?

A key part of our culture at Enable is valuing curiosity — we want to continue to innovate, to learn new skills and techniques that we can apply to make our software even better. I enjoy being given the freedom and time to discover and explore new ideas and to apply these ideas where we see they will benefit our software. I also enjoy the team spirit we have — we understand that we all grow together as a team, and we work collectively to ensure that everyone at Enable succeeds.

Where would you like to see yourself in the future at Enable?

I’m really enjoying my role, but I’ve still got plenty to learn about being the best line manager that I can be. I want to continue to develop these skills and help to continue to grow the engineering team.

What piece of advice would you give to graduates looking to secure a career with Enable?

If you’re passionate about writing great software, love problem solving and are driven to continue to learn and develop, then you’ll fit right in. Good luck in your application!

What Enable can offer you

One of Enable’s top priorities is to provide a positive environment for all of our employees to work in — this is reflected in our excellent Glassdoor employee reviews! Not only do our employees have the freedom to work creatively and to suggest improvements and new ways of working, our team structure and project processes allow them to focus entirely on solving any given challenge. Investing in our employees lets us devote more time into increasing their abilities, as well as drawing from a steady stream of high calibre applicants. The benefits are clear; Enable prides itself on high staff retention and expects to grow to over 100 employees by the end of 2020.Further reading:

Elizabeth Lavelle

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