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Conor Walker, Graduate Apprentice Software Engineer, Q&A

Conor Walker joined Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) in August 2020 as a Graduate Apprentice Software Engineer.

What is your role at Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS)?

I’m a graduate apprentice software engineer, so I spend one day per week at university and the rest of the time working here at SGS!

How long have you worked at SGS and where are you based?

I’ve been with SGS for just over 3 (wonderful!) years now. I’m based in our Glasgow office, and generally have a 50/50 split between working in the office and from home.

What do you enjoy most about working at SGS?

The clean conscience that comes with working with renewable energy definitely helps! I really enjoy how professional and relaxed working in my team is – everyone’s friendly and will readily help if you run into any issues, and there’s no excessive target monitoring so you can afford to take your time on a tricky task without being pressured to get it done quickly. There’s a positive approach to taking time for training & development along with working as well!

Conor Walker, Graduate Apprentice Software Engineer at Smarter Grid Solutions DERMS provider 

What does a typical day at SGS look like for you?

A lot of my daily routine is, naturally, writing & testing code! We have regular meetings in our team to talk about what we’re working on and making sure that nobody’s stuck on anything. I also typically do some peer review of my colleague’s code, which helps to validate that the code submitted is of high quality as well as familiarising myself with different areas of our software.

When did you know that software development was for you?

It was a belated realisation when I hit the ripe old age of 25! I had been really good at computing in school and had been a big ol’ tech nerd almost all my life, so it would’ve been a logical choice to study computing at college or university – a choice that somehow never occurred to me. A few months before I started at SGS the penny finally dropped that it was something I could actually do as a career. As it turned out SGS had just started recruiting for the role I’m now in at the same time, so the stars aligned perfectly! Follow your dreams!


What project(s) are you working on right now?

I work on our Cirrus Flex platform, which is our cloud-based control and optimization platform. It involves a lot of moving parts owing to the innovative nature of the product, so there’s a lot of different technologies to learn to cover it all!

Do you have any advice for someone thinking of starting a career in software engineering?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! The modern software industry is (ideally) very big on communication and collaboration, so never be afraid of feeling like a newcomer and just soldiering on when you’re stuck on something that seems trivial. Being inquisitive is a great trait to have, given the breadth of technology and concepts involved and how fast the industry tends to move.

What do you do when you’re not working at SGS? (hobbies, interests, volunteer work etc.)

I tend to bounce a lot between hobbies depending on what seems most interesting at the time! Alongside the standard stuff of reading, games, music etc. I also dabble in cooking/baking and photography – though my skill levels vary!


Interested in joining the SGS team? We are hiring for multiple roles across the US and in Glasgow, Scotland and the surrounding areas.