Last updated November 2023.

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.



Photo of Thomas Plews

Name: Thomas Plews

Degree: MPhys (Physics), Oxford

What led you to apply?

At university, I decided I wanted to go into a career in software after having enjoyed the programming parts of my final year project the most. I was worried only having limited experience would put me at a disadvantage compared to others, but speaking to Cisco Ensoft engineers at a careers fair, I learned they don’t require experience or a computer science background, only enthusiasm to learn! New starters undergo a month-long training program to bring everyone up to speed and have ongoing education over the first few years. It was clear the engineers were genuinely interested in the work they do and enjoyed the company culture.

How was the application process?

Very straightforward. Only a CV was required, and a few weeks later, I was invited for an afternoon of two interviews and an aptitude test. The interviews were very relaxed and felt more like informal chats. I had the opportunity to visit the office after receiving an offer and got the impression it was an enjoyable and friendly work environment. Speaking to recent new starters and going for lunch confirmed this!

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

I’ve been here around 1 and 1/2 years now and have developed substantially since starting, both in my technical skills and knowledge and my table tennis skills from getting involved in office sports when having a break. Going from very little programming knowledge to designing and developing new features for Cisco’s high-end routers has been a very rewarding journey, and I continue to learn new things every week.

I’ve recently become a mentor for a new starter (each new starter has someone directly assigned to them to help during their first year), which is not only a big step in my own development and personal responsibility but has made me realise how much I’ve learnt since starting!

There are many social activities and events to get involved in. I regularly do group cycles or play 5-a-side football at lunch (All abilities welcome; I had not kicked a ball for well over five years before joining!), and there are a variety of other groups and activities to join at and outside of work as well. Grabbing a drink and hanging out with friends from work on a Friday tops off what has undoubtedly been an interesting, challenging and fun week at Cisco Ensoft!



Name: Rebecca Owen

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.


Photo of Tempy Charoenvasnadumrong

Name: Tempy Charoenvasnadumrong

What led you to apply?

I was always picky with my job applications. I wanted two things: a friendly work culture and a job that would challenge me intellectually! Cisco Ensoft always had a good reputation at my university for both, so when I got called for an interview, it was a no-brainer.

How was the application process?

It was really smooth and efficient. As opposed to long application processes that could take weeks, whereby you had to pass each stage to progress, Cisco Ensoft did everything in one go: a maths test followed by two interviews. And I really liked that – it gives everyone the opportunity to show off all their strengths. You didn’t need to pass the maths test to get an opportunity to be interviewed.

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

In the most completely unbiased way possible, it’s truly been fantastic. You can ask my flatmates and my friends – I encourage them all to apply, even when they already have jobs!

The reason is simple. I have interned in a few places and shadowed engineers in many companies, and I don’t think I found a place that is as friendly yet challenging as Cisco Ensoft.

In my six months here, I’ve met so many smiling faces; no question is ever considered too silly, and I even get to play football at lunch. In terms of project work, I was entrusted to write code on a big new project within a few months of joining and have already finished a whole tool! I don’t think one can find many places that would allow and trust you to do so much so early on, so I am very grateful to be here.



Photo of Kiran JollyName: Kiran Jolly

Degree: MEng (Engineering), Cambridge

What led you to apply?

I knew I wanted to go into a software engineering role, and I was looking for a company that would help me develop my programming skills. I got the chance to talk to Ensoft employees about what it was like, and the friendly, social environment and the structured introductory ‘boot camp’, followed up by an ongoing education programme, was perfect for my personal development.

How was the application process?

Very straightforward. I submitted a CV, and then had two (online) interviews on one day before getting the job offer.

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

It’s a lot of fun working at Ensoft! Everyone works hard, but everyone is really friendly, and there’s a really good social environment. There’s an active social team, who organise lots of different types of social events, and everyone is keen to help each other. There’s a really positive working environment, and we have office games such as table tennis and pool, for when people want a break from work.

When you start, you get put on a 4-6 week programme to learn C and Python, as well as the basics of how the routing software works. After this has finished, you join a team and start to work on actual production code. Normally, this starts with bug fixes, but will soon progress to writing brand-new code! For the next few years, you continue to have a structured education to learn more complex ideas in programming and networking.


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


Simon Chatterjee

Distinguished Engineer

Service Provider Network Systems