There’s a common misconception that there’s only one route into certain jobs – software engineering being one of them. We’ve found it’s a real concern among non-computer science undergraduates who approach us at graduate careers fairs. The truth is, the name of your degree is secondary to skills such as logical thinking, coding or testing ability, and arguably most importantly – passion. Here, two of our employees without computer science degrees explain more:
I studied electronic engineer
Rob, who studied Electronic Engineering and joined us as a graduate developer in 2015, said: “When it boils down to it, all STEM degrees are based around different forms of problem solving; whether that’s testing an electronic system for stability, or writing an application to track the transfer of bitcoins, everything can be broken down into small problems.
“Coding was never something I thought I’d be doing when I started my degree. However, it quickly became my favourite lecture every week, up to the point where I chose a C-based final year project and spent a placement year doing coding. I also have some experience with C++ (purely as a procedural language) and assembly, but my primary language is C, and none of my experience comes in the form of object-oriented languages.
“At uni, the assignments just clicked for me, and while a lot of others in my degree didn’t particularly enjoy the coding lectures, it turned out to be exactly what I loved about engineering - being given a problem and using my knowledge to solve it. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what degree you have behind you; if you enjoy coding and have a passion for solving puzzles, Scott Logic is the perfect place for you!”
"By week four I was ready to work with two other graduates to make a browser-based game! It’s a steep learning curve, but if you’re willing to learn and like a challenge, it’s more than possible, and really enjoyable too.”
What about civil engineering?
Luke recently joined us as a senior developer after a PhD in Civil Engineering, and said: “There wasn’t much programming involved in my undergraduate engineering degree at all, other than some number crunching with MATLAB, but my PhD was a different story.
“I realised very early on in my project that flood simulation was going to be as much about how to leverage computing power as it was solving equations. Programming graphics cards and learning the nuts and bolts of processor architectures quickly became my favourite part of the PhD, so it seemed logical to pursue a software career afterwards.
“Many other aspects of my degrees proved useful though, such as project management, communication skills, and designing algorithms. A PhD especially provides good training for taking a complicated problem and breaking it down into smaller tasks. Despite all this, it’s not really the intricacies of how we work that excite me, it’s the end result that I care most about; I think many engineers from all disciplines feel that way, and that’s why it’s not essential to have a degree in computer science to be a good software engineer. And testament to that fact, I was surprised to find I wasn’t the first civil engineer to find my way on to the Scott Logic team.”