My year as a NAG Placement Student
My tenure as a Placement Student at NAG for my ‘Year in Industry’ has just come to an end, and I can say with certainty that it has been a very good and worthwhile experience. During my time here I was given the role of Software Engineer, which meant that I wasn’t locked into any specific job. This allowed me to undertake a wide variety of tasks, such as implementing Struve functions, (a set of special functions), into the NAG Library, adapting NAG Library example programs for LAPACK and releasing them for everyone (not just NAG users), making improvements to the license key generation system, and more. Having this much variety in the tasks I was given was much appreciated, as I got to experience different aspects of working life, while keeping the job interesting. It also allowed me to figure out which aspects of the role I enjoyed the most and will definitely help me in the future when I’m thinking about long-term employment.
A typical day in the office would start for me at around 9:20, as NAG allows its employees to arrive between 8:00 and 10:00. Similarly, you can choose when to leave to office as well, as long as you work your core hours. NAG values output over clock watching. This freedom was greatly appreciated as it allowed me to sometimes work longer days so that I could leave earlier on other days. I would work until 12:00 at which point I would have lunch. Pearson’s situated next door to NAG, kindly allows NAG employees to use their canteen, which was where I went most days. After lunch I would work until leaving unless it was a Thursday, when everyone would meet at 15:30 in the kitchen to eat biscuits and catch up for half an hour or so.
I don’t remember exactly how I found NAG but I’m glad I did. The interview was very informal, and mostly involved them telling me about the company rather than the other way around! The friendly faces of Sarah and Mick made me feel welcome and I was thrilled when I found out that I had gotten the job. When I arrived, the first week was a gentle start to get acclimatised to the working day and was mostly learning/revision. They soon put me to work though! I think my proudest accomplishment has been implementing the Struve functions, because I know that even though I’m leaving, something that I’ve done will always be in the NAG Library and being used by people. Overall this has been a very productive and enjoyable year and I have to thank everyone at NAG for being so kind and friendly and making this a great place to work!