Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Alex and I’m a software developer within the Cyber Engineering team at the National Cyber Crime Unit. I develop big data solutions to provide analytics to the wider NCCU. We use cloud technologies to identify patterns in computing. The systems we build directly assist operational teams to tackle serious and organised crime. I work in a team of 6 people and have had the opportunity to travel internationally to work with other law enforcement agencies and to attend conferences. I manage one junior software developer.
In a brief overview, what are your previous roles and your career path?
I spent a couple of years in industry having completed an undergraduate degree in Physics from Hull University. I was attracted to the NCA after speaking to an NCA officer at a career fair in London. I liked the idea of using my software skills to make a difference.
What do you enjoy about the job you are in? What challenges do you face and how do you successfully overcome them?
I enjoy working with a team of developers energised by the problems they are solving. I am given the time to research and explore new technologies and techniques and propose new approaches. For instance I wanted to upskill the wider NCCU in programming so I implemented a “code club”, where I taught individuals with no programming skills how to write code. We get given opportunities to work across government. We work on a mix of projects from large scale systems to solutions that require a rapid turnaround, sometimes in hours.
Is there any advice you would like to give to candidates applying, e.g. in terms of skills needed for the job?
Most of our code base is in Python and Java but having awareness of a high level programming language is a must have. Having an ability to work flexibly and creatively and sometimes at pace are really important.