Softwire Blog

Internship Profile: Haden Spence

29 August 2013, by

Haden Spence

I applied to Softwire so late in my second year at Oxford that sadly, by the time I reached the interview stage, there were no places left for me that summer.  Instead, I was accepted for an internship after my third year.  So I had a year for the anticipation to build.  A friend of mine spent that year telling me how incredible the experience is; raising my expectations further!  I was not disappointed; my seven weeks here have been better than I could have ever imagined.

Those seven weeks at Softwire have gone by far too fast; every day has been great fun.  I’m a maths student, but have always had a keen interest in computing, so it’s great to be able to apply myself fully to what is otherwise ‘just’ a hobby.  The work is always a challenge, but if it ever gets too much, the support structure is something Softwire have spent a lot of time working on.  It is impossible to stray too far, with your team and managers looking after you.

Softwire place a strong focus on personal development.  Indeed it would be hard not to learn a massive amount during your time here – everyone in the office is always free to help anyone else, be it by running an educational lunch or whiteboard session, or helping with a specific problem.  The time spent on peer-to-peer training is always enjoyable, and the skills learnt are invaluable even if your career path leads you to something other than software development.

Gaining Programming Experience

28 May 2013, by

When recruiting for technical roles at Softwire, how much experience an applicant has isn’t the be all and end all for us when considering applications. If you’re interested in applying to work for us, why not find out exactly what we’re looking for?

However, it never hurts to gain some programming experience, or work to improve any experience you may already have. The best candidates (and often the people who do best after they start at Softwire) are generally the people with a passion for experimenting and trying out new things.

In terms of what you can do to gain some more experience of programming, the short answer is just practice.

It’s pretty much the case that you can choose any programming language, framework, type of project etc. and gain some real benefit from it. So we’d definitely recommend trying to find something that you think would be fun and engaging!


Calling experienced developers

15 March 2013, by

In case you didn’t know, Softwire hires new recruits all year round. And this year, we’re particularly keen on recruiting developers with 2-8 years’ experience. Click here to apply, or read on for more details…

Softwire is an extremely successful and vibrant software company offering bespoke software development services in a diverse range of sectors including media, security, online retail, travel, finance, publishing and insurance. We are currently looking for software developers with prior commercial experience to work in our offices based in London (NW5) and Bristol.  We have placed in the top twenty of the Sunday Times Best Small Companies awards for the past three years running, and employees will tell you that this is a truly great – and probably unique – place to work.  We combine a relaxed and friendly environment with a superb all-round package of benefits including:

  • Varied and interesting work that will keep you on your toes day in, day out.
  • Great remuneration – all employees reap the rewards of our joint efforts, and a guaranteed 60% of profits is distributed to staff via annual bonus.
  • Flexible working time and conditions and no pressure to regularly work long hours.
  • Focused training, rapid personal development, and the opportunity to take on elevated levels of responsibility early in your career
  • Frequent social events and company outings.

Applicants must have demonstrated excellence in previous employment and possess impeccable academic records – usually straight As at A-level (or equivalent) and a good degree from a top university.  You will need stand-out ability and enthusiasm in order to be successful. 

Internship profile: John Ginger

26 November 2012, by

JohnI took a summer internship at Softwire between my 3rd and 4th years doing Engineering at Cambridge University. I came to Softwire with relatively little programming experience, minimal amounts from my course and a little more from experimenting and playing around with stuff in my spare time. I wanted an internship that would be fun, where there would be the chance to do real things and to gain a better insight about what career path I would like to take in the future.


Internship profile: Thomas Chetwin

16 November 2012, by

ThomasI’m currently studying Computer Science at Cambridge and had had some prior programming experience in my second year group project. This had led me to consider software development as a career, and where better to start than Softwire? The employees I’d spoken to at the computer lab recruitment fair were enthusiastic and full of praise for Softwire and I was not disappointed!

I was put on a project very soon after arriving and was given structured training sessions over the first few weeks. My project was to work on the internal interview management application, the same one I’d been on the other side of just months before. I was allowed to experiment and explore with the unfamiliar technologies (Java ServerPages, Hibernate, Spring …) under the guiding hand of my team manager, which was of great benefit to me. I continued to work on this application for around a month and became familiar with its many facets.


Internship profile: Ian Baker

5 November 2012, by

IanI applied for an internship at Softwire because I wanted to get some experience in the real world of software development, and learn about all the practicalities that were outside the scope of my Computer Science degree at Cambridge. I had a fair amount of programming experience before I arrived, mostly from my course, but it all focussed on creating trivially small programs to illustrate an academic point; what I hoped to gain from Softwire was an understanding of the processes involved in creating usefully large programs that interacted with real-world data. (more…)

Internship profile: Joe Edwards

22 October 2012, by

JoeAfter doing nearly three years of maths, I still wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do afterwards, so I applied for an internship at Softwire. I’d only had a few small experiences programming, but it was something I was confident I could do – the environment was something I was more concerned about though. However even when I went down for my interview in January I knew I’d made the right decision – the office was friendly, and it felt like a really good place to be.

When I properly arrived in July, we had just a few days to get settled in before being thrown right in on a project. It’s intimidating at first seeing a massive codebase – especially not having done any serious coding before, but very quickly you start to pick it up, and it’s immensely satisfying once your first feature gets finished! Everyone is always happy to give advice if you need it, and there’ll be someone looking after you to make sure you’re on the right track. (more…)

Internship profile: Yingxin Jiang

2 July 2012, by

I applied for an internship at Softwire because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after my maths degree at Cambridge.   My only previous experience of programming was writing basic console applications for my maths coursework.  I had fun with this, so I wanted to get a better idea of what programming was like.

I enjoyed the workplace environment right away: I went to the pub with my new colleagues, signed up for drum lessons in the office, and learned to play Postman Pat on the guitar at lunchtime.  But I wasn’t initially convinced that software development was for me.  It wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped, and in the first few weeks I often found it quite frustrating.

Since then however, Softwire has managed to change my mind completely, though I can’t pinpoint exactly how.  It’s not just that my latest project is more interesting and consists of more substantial tasks; I’ve become genuinely excited about learning and improving, and eager to do more.  I think it’s because the whole atmosphere of caring about programming has gradually rubbed off on me.  There’s a strong focus on personal development at Softwire: every developer in the office is constantly trying out new technologies and sharing their discoveries over blog posts and emails.  There’s a drive to pursue technical excellence for its own sake, and I’m inspired by that.  I wouldn’t want to leave software development now – not while there is so much left to learn!

There’s no doubt that Softwire is an amazing company to work for, and the management continuously puts a lot of thought and effort into making it even better.  Other people have written about this more eloquently than I can, and their descriptions of the enviable social life here are no exaggeration.  But in reality, I don’t need much extra motivation to socialise.  Softwire has motivated me to work at becoming a better developer, and that has been much more valuable.

Students vote Softwire into the Guardian UK 300!

24 May 2012, by

Guardian UK 100 2012Following on from our success in the Sunday Times Best Companies awards, Softwire have been included in yet another prestigious list of employers – the Guardian UK 300 2012. (The book won’t come out until September, although in the meantime you can see us in the related TARGETjobs IT publication here.)

This list of the most popular graduate employers in the UK is voted for by students and graduates. We were placed 34th in the IT category – the higher ranked of only two SMEs (companies with < 250 employees).

27,000 students and graduates are each given a list of employers, and asked to choose three companies that they would most like to work for, whether they are on the list or not.

What makes our achievement here particularly impressive is that almost all the companies in the final 300 are much, much larger than us – think Google, BBC, Microsoft – and in fact we weren’t even on the list that was handed out to students in the first place. Given this, we are very chuffed that so many of the participants were so excited about applying to work with us that they actively suggested our name – ahead of many companies with much larger recruitment budgets!

As in most years, Softwire are looking to increase in size by about 20%, which means we’re hoping to take on around 12 new starters. This year, we’re looking forward to interviewing even more high quality applicants than usual – make sure you’re one of them!

Softwire interviewed by Warwick University

3 January 2012, by

Warwick University wanted to know why we were at their careers fair, and how their students can get a job at Softwire. We were only too happy to oblige.

Here’s Harry Cummings, who studied at Warwick University: