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Coding from home

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: DVLA Digital Services

Right now, things are far from normal. Working from home is new to many and people are trying to establish a different kind of routine.

Fran Moore, DVLA Software Engineer, tells us a bit about what her role entails and how she has found the transition so far…

Finding the new normal

When social distancing measures were announced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt very fortunate that working from home meant taking my laptop home one evening and logging on the next day from my spare room.

Although it’s not the same as being in the office and seeing people face-to-face, my daily work routine has pretty much stayed the same.

Daily meetings continue to happen through video calls, along with our usual planning and review sessions. My team has also managed to continue with pair programming through the use of screen sharing and conference calls, which is fantastic.

The role of a Software Engineer

Working as a Software Engineer at DVLA is full of opportunity and there’s a wide range of projects you could be assigned to. I work on one of the squads responsible for delivering the upgrade of our Tachograph project from our legacy-based mainframe system on to a new cloud-based platform.

It’s really exciting because in the last 12 months or so we’ve gone from being a ‘backend’, mainly Java-based development to a full stack squad where we write the front ends too. We now work with Java, Spring, Ruby, and React to mention just a few!

I’ve also started to get more involved with automated build pipelines using tools such as Spinnaker and Drone, which I’m really enjoying. Luckily I’m able to continue with all of this interesting work whilst at home.

Getting to grips with new technology

I’ve spent some time looking at Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently, as we’ve started using their queue service as part of the drivers Tachograph application process.

This has involved writing Java code to integrate our services securely using the AWS libraries, and deal with the Kubernetes configurations to ensure the correct information for the security policies are in place. It was exciting to see that the code I’d written worked and we’d got a record through to the queue from the environment!

We’ve also adopted the approach of Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) for the drivers Tachograph project, so the automation tests for a user story get written up first using Cucumber, Gherkin and Ruby before any development work begins. These automation tests then fit in with the automated build pipelines we have.

Working at DVLA

I love that there’s a real focus on learning and development here, and there’s always opportunities available. These can vary from part-time degree courses, in areas such as Cyber Security and Data Science, to a variety of online courses, which can include preparation for professional certifications such as AWS and Java.

I’m lucky that my job is flexible and allows a good work-life balance. There are days where I need to put some extra hours in but seeing the results of your hard work pay off makes it all worth it in the end.

If a career in Software Engineering at DVLA sounds like something you’d be interested in, make sure you check out our latest recruitment campaign on Civil Service Jobs.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Clare Lockhart posted on

    Enjoyed this fascinating glimpse into the world of coding ! Thank you . Stay safe . Clare