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  • Role: Software Engineer
  • Location: North London
  • University: Oxford
  • Degree: MEng Engineering Science
  • Organisation: Metaswitch

Ben Jones

I had finished my degree and travelled the world for a couple of months. Even at this stage I was unsure in which direction I wanted to take my working life. I always thought that I would work it out as I went through university, but here I was at the end of the summer no closer to knowing what I wanted to do.

I started to think about my previous work placements and concluded that my previous employment had simply not been exciting enough; I needed a role where I would be interested and challenged on a daily basis.

So I began searching for companies that would meet my criteria. I didn’t want work to consume all of my time, so it was essential that I found a role that combined reasonable working hours and a healthy work-life balance. It was also imperative that my job would allow me to continue to learn and develop. It was becoming difficult to find a company that matched my ever-growing list of needs, but then I found Metaswitch. They seemed to match every point on my list and as an extra incentive they appeared to offer regular tabs at the local pub!

I filled in the online application form and was surprised when I received a response just three days later. I went along to the first interview and was lucky enough to be invited back. The whole interview process was really flexible and friendly and the recruitment team ensured I felt relaxed. It was actually (quite surprisingly for an interview) an interesting and enjoyable experience.

I’ve been with Metaswitch for 18 months now and not once have I found myself without interesting work. I work as a System Tester in the Carrier Systems Division, which means I get exposure to a wide range of new product features and functions. I get to work at the forefront of cutting-edge technology with a supportive group of like-minded individuals who are always willing to answer any questions I have.

Starting out

One of the first projects I worked on was the testing of a completely new user interface that could be used by service providers to manipulate the data on their telephone switches and application servers.

The initial deployment of the product allowed customer service departments access to the management functions necessary to deal with common subscriber issues such as requests to reset a password and feature upgrades. This was an exciting opportunity to learn about the technologies involved in internet applications and also provided a fascinating insight into the Telecoms industry.

Although I was new to the company, I was given ownership of the product testing and I had real input into the development of the product.

Conference Server Enhancements

More recently I have worked on enhancements to our conferencing server, which involved database manipulation and test tool development.

Part of the test plan indicated that it was necessary to test the capacity and performance of the system which involved setting up 1500 concurrent calls. This was obviously not something I was going to do manually, so it was necessary to create a suitable test with a phone emulation stress tool. I had no real programming experience prior to joining the company, but in the supportive environment that Metaswitch offers I was able to rapidly increase my programming knowledge.

Of course, it’s not all work and no play. There are plenty of opportunities to get out of the office at lunchtimes and at least once a week we play football in the park for a couple of hours. We were recently taken for a team-building trip to York and we’re off to Portugal for a company holiday in a couple of months. I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoy my job!

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