I am Nadia Johnson, 21 year old software engineer for Maritime Mission Systems Thales UK, working on SONAR processing. My current position is one of four third year software degree apprentices, where I study my degree part time alongside my job. I work with languages such as Java and C++ and for the first project at Thales, I had to teach myself python. My role doesn’t only revolve around constant programming, but requires a key understanding of the systems you’re working on.

I’ve taken it upon myself to introduce new innovative ideas never considered before in my department which I demonstrated on my first project with Thales. I was given the role of evaluating and establishing a new automated test system based around a technology called Squish. The technology and the culture of such an automated testing system were new to the software team and department I work in.

I have now moved on and working with our biggest SONAR system S2076 updating the software for our Astute Class Submarines. I have taken it upon myself to investigate new technologies that we can use in future developments of the system. I can combine these aspects of my role to my University projects, giving me a complete understanding from both an industrial and academic view of the technical units and technologies.

In addition to my role, I have owned and led the following activities in Thales:
>Snapchat – I have been the Thales UK lead for snapchat usage. I helped create a snapchat channel for the Thales early careers site showing life as an apprentice at Thales for prospective employees.
>UK Apprentice Committee – I am one of six members of the Thales UK apprentice committee, regularly presenting to the UK management board.
>Work based groups- I am currently a champion for both our ‘Your Employee Society’ (International) and ‘Employee Engagement’ teams at the UK and regional level here at Thales.
>I am a mentor for our new intake of apprentices, encouraging them to get involved in the same types of activities I found myself doing throughout my apprenticeship. I am also there to provide support with University also.