Ministry of Justice
A day in the life of...Bethan Palmer, Software Developer
What is your role at MoJ?
I'm a Software Developer for MoJ Digital & Technology focusing on legal aid. This is my first Civil Service role.
What did you do before you worked for MoJ?
I was a Java developer at a 10-person software company for 2 and a half years, which was my first job after university.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Most days I pair programme with others on my team. Especially as a new starter, and often working with tech that I haven't used before, I've found this a really useful way to learn and get used to the code base.
As I am on a very new team, we've decided to try having retro meetings every afternoon. We discuss what went well that day, what we want to improve tomorrow and anything we're confused by. The aim is to get the team working effectively as quickly as possible.
We also have 20% of our time set aside to learn new skills and technologies, so I also spend some time taking online courses and listening to other developers give talks about the things they are learning.
Tell us about any new or interesting projects you’re working on right now.
I've just started working with the App Modernisation team, which brings legacy applications or systems up to date. The aim is to make sure that they are run cost effectively and securely. We are working with a team who support CCMS (Client and Cost Management System), which is an online system for civil and family legal aid providers and others assigned to work on their cases. We are looking at better ways to build, host and deploy certain parts of the application.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned while working here?
In lots of ways it's better to work with people who know more than you. One of the good things about working with a big department with lots of developers is that there are always people you can learn from.
What piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to apply for a role at MoJ?
Definitely go for it! It's a chance to work on critically important applications that are very focused on user needs, and everyone is really motivated to make them as good as they can be.
If you weren’t a Software Developer, what would you be?
I studied English at university, so if I could choose anything maybe some kind of writer.
Can you tell us your favourite film?
Toy Story 3.
What was it that made you want to work in MoJ Digital and Technology?
My only previous experience is with commercial software, so I wanted to try working somewhere with a different perspective and new challenges. I like the idea of developing software that is very focused on user experience and requirements.
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