Joining Cisco’s Ensoft Team


September 23, 2019 - 0 Comments

Do you ever wonder how stuff on the Internet, like the web page you’re reading right now, reaches your phone or computer?  Very likely it’s because of code written by Cisco’s Ensoft team in the United Kingdom.

The team develops software technology that powers some of the biggest routers in the guts of the Internet.  It’s important and creative work that matters – but what’s it like to work here?

Everyone on the team joined soon after graduating (mostly from Oxford or Cambridge) and often without formal Computer Science training.  So, we asked a few of them about their career journey.

 


 

Name Eshan Singhal

Degree BA (Mathematics), Cambridge

What led you to apply?

Going into my final year of university, I started looking for jobs.  I had done some programming but I was not an “experienced programmer”.  I was aware of the smooth application process for Cisco’s Ensoft team, and it was one of the first places I applied to.

How was the application process?

Simple: just one morning of interviews and a test!  When I visited the offices, I got the impression that this was a place where people really enjoyed working – but also that there was a real emphasis on training new recruits and producing high quality work.

What’s it like working on the Cisco Ensoft team?

Nearly two years on, it’s safe to say my inklings during that office visit were correct.  I have learnt an incredible amount, from the basics of programming to making significant contributions to a large (and interesting!) software project alongside truly fantastic engineers.  There is a great support network to help when required, and I have had the opportunity to travel both to support my team’s code, as well as to meet other development teams abroad.  I certainly didn’t expect this level of responsibility as a relatively inexperienced engineer.

In my opinion, the best thing about our team is the people – I never thought I would make this many friends from my job.  From grabbing a drink after work, to our annual walking weekend, there is always something to do!  The work-life balance has even allowed me to take bridge, which was just a hobby at university, more seriously and play at a junior international level.  All in all, I never expected to have this much fun at my job – I get to hang out with smart, dedicated and interesting people every day.

 


 

Name Rebecca Morgan

Degree PhD (Geophysics), Oxford

What led you to apply?

As I approached the end of my PhD, I was looking for an opportunity to work on interesting and varied technical problems that also provided training for someone without a formal computer science background.  It was clear to me as I talked to current employees that the Cisco Ensoft team would provide this, with a month-long introductory training course and ongoing education in programming and networking over the first few years.

How was the application process?

The application process was straightforward, and communication was great throughout.  I submitted a CV (resume), and a few weeks later was invited to a single interview session with a short test and two interviews.

What’s it like working on the Cisco Ensoft team?

I really enjoy it!  The work is both challenging and rewarding, with colleagues always around to help with any questions or particularly difficult bugs.  Managers and mentors are very supportive, while regular meetings ensure you have a clear understanding of your progress and development.  Beyond work, the office is very sociable, with varied activities including table tennis, running and lunchtime board games.

 


 

Name Dan Kreso

Degree MPhys (Physics), Oxford

What led you to apply?

I first found out about Cisco Ensoft when visiting a careers fair at university.  Having talked to some of their engineers at the event, I was very impressed with the enthusiasm they had for their wo

rk and their pride in the team.  The engineers also allayed any fears I had about a lack of experience – it was a relief to find that they employed lots of people without Computer Science degrees!  More research online further convinced me that working at Cisco Ensoft would be stimulating, fun, and full of learning.  This, along with the application process being so uncomplicated, meant deciding to apply was a no-brainer!

How was the application process?

Very smooth.  Not having an arduous process with endless stages was a very pleasant surprise.  Despite it being short (a CV, one test and two interviews) there was still the opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the job.

What’s it like working on the Cisco Ensoft team?

I am now a year in and I’m very happy to be a part of the team!  I can’t imagine that there are many places that match Cisco Ensoft for its ability to develop software engineers.  An exposure to lots of talented engineers helps, but it’s the proactive approach that management take in the development of their employees that particularly stands out.

The work we do is challenging and I like that every day I have to think deeply about a technical problem. I’ve found working in teams very enjoyable; everyone is happy to help each other and the atmosphere in the office is very positive.

Many social events are organised by our team as well. One of my favourite social activities is playing 5-aside football at lunch.  All abilities are welcome, and you find you spend much of each session laughing with each other! I’m happy to say that my good impression of Cisco Ensoft while applying has been correct, it really is great to work here!

 


 

Name Kate Thompson

Degree BA (Mathematics), Oxford

What led you to apply?

I knew I wanted a career in programming but had very limited experience.  I had heard that new hires on the Cisco Ensoft team take part in a coding course when they join, which seemed like a great opportunity and stood out from other software companies.

(Spoiler: it was, and aside from learning coding in C, we were introduced to the routing software we’d be working on at Cisco, so we could hit the ground running when we joined our teams.)

How was the application process?

All I had to do was send a CV and attend an interview in Oxford.  The interview itself was much more relaxed than other interviews: there was just a simple aptitude test and some informal chats.

What’s it like working on the Cisco Ensoft team?

Working here feels like an Oxbridge college: everyone does work hard, but there’s also a great social life and regular company-sponsored events.

In my first year at Cisco, I went from doing some small bugfixes in my first few weeks to working on new features for Cisco’s routing software.  In recent years, my projects have ranged from putting together a training course for all new hires in our extended team, to solving complex technical challenges to give all Cisco engineers the best possible development workflow.

I’ve been on the Cisco Ensoft team for seven years now, and with the variety of work that we do there’s always been something new to learn!

 


Want to join the Cisco Ensoft team?  We’re hiring! Visit our website to apply.

 

 



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