I joined Principle One straight after finishing my masters and undergraduate degrees in engineering and mathematics. After doing a short internship I knew the work would be interesting, the people friendly and encouraging, and the move to London exciting. Since joining I have worked on many projects from 6 weeks to 6 months long, with various customers. This wealth of variety has given me a great understanding of how to solve a wide range of problems, be that regarding people or technology, and how Principle One fit into the market. Fast forward 2 years and here we are on a (hopefully not rainy) day in London …

I’m up early to beat the rush hour traffic when cycling into Vauxhall, quickly setting up I’ll check emails for anything important before getting a shower in the office before anyone sees me in my cycling kit. I’ll grab a coffee, resolve any service desk issues preventing other staff from working, and get on with immediate customer work before anyone else is in to distract me! This is usually an idea I’ve had of how to fix something during my cycle in or the evening before.

As everyone else starts to arrive in the office I can put work on hold and have a chat,  not taking for granted the opportunity of having everyone nearby for helpful work chats (both getting and giving help) or social catch ups are just as important!

Before lunch I quickly head out for a customer meeting which is usually a coffee and chat, update on the next steps and what to focus on. I’ll need this for the afternoon.

Back to Vauxhall for a quick run with whomever else needs to clear their head before the afternoon, lunch in the kitchen to compare and contrast everyone’s homemade or meal deal lunch decisions.

I cycle home for the afternoon to really get some work done, I’ve found this is my version of hybrid working where I’m in the office for some catching up and customer meetings but then get my best work done at home with no distractions.

My customer work at the moment happens to be a selection of python code programming, data analysis and visualisation, or writing documentation which involves emphasising the value of our work to the customer. I enjoy the autonomy I have experienced with developing code at Principle One; it depends on your project but I am usually free to suggest new features to work on, have others review and test my code before merging with a remote repository for everyone to use. My current project has allowed me to really develop python confidence, as well as other tools like Docker and data visualisation tools like ELK. I like to suggest improvements to the way things are carried out and that has always been encouraged and usually implemented, especially internally at P1 but also on customer projects.

I find project work really immersive at times, however it’s valuable to Principle One to take a step back and think about things at a higher level. This involves thinking about questions such as how can we maintain the current work contract, and could we extend it or add more people into it? Is the customer getting everything we agreed or do they actually need something other than their original ask.

If there is time at the end of the day to step outside of my customer work I’ll take a look at anything pending on the service desk, respond to any technical queries staff working on other projects have come to me directly about, or arrange some meetings for the rest of the week.

Wrapping things up preferably not too late into the evening I’ll turn off and pack up not before checking slack with my fingers crossed to see if anyone is heading out for a beer…

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andrew dixon

GRADUATE SYSTEMS ENGINEER