Prodrive Technologies is working towards full automation of their factories. To support that, a lot of internal software has been and is being developed. One of the biggest projects is our own MES (Manufacturing Execution System), which supports the manufacturing process and controls, partially or fully, many of the machines.
I started at Prodrive Technologies as a third-year Software Engineering student, still unsure of what exactly I wanted to do with my career. Prodrive gave me the opportunity to explore different fields, technologies, and projects, and helped me to learn more about myself.
My day at work always begins at 7 AM with a workout at the gym. It is amazing that Prodrive gives me the opportunity to do sports at the campus before work. Then, work starts with checking the pull requests I’ve submitted for code review or preparing for early meetings. I love reading nice jokes left by my colleagues in the comments of my pull requests. They get the day started properly. Afterward, I focus on the tasks that have to be completed for the day or week and sometimes distract myself with funny team chats with my colleagues.
I’m currently working on “renovating” the Prodrive Robot Solutions (PRS) application by re-designing its architecture and modernizing the application using new technologies. The PRS application is a solution designed to work as the middleman between technicians, in-house automation cells, and other systems for product assembly operations. It can interact with physical inputs and outputs, as well as any other system within the Prodrive infrastructure. I find this project the perfect opportunity to learn new software concepts, programming patterns, and modern technologies. It allows me to improve my coding skills and explore the ever-changing world of Software Engineering.
Working in the PRS team involves not only software engineering knowledge, but also knowing a thing or two about the hardware in an automation cell. I, as a person who usually hates hardware and has no experience with embedded programming, jumped way out of my comfort zone when joining this project. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’m not going to lie, I am still afraid of the big robots in the cells, especially when they are moving. Since I joined the PRS team, I have added a great amount of knowledge, both software and hardware related. Being surrounded by so many smart people is amazing because you learn so much. And that is the best thing about Prodrive. It provides you with many opportunities to grow, improve and express yourself.
Personal improvement is the one thing a person should never stop investing time or resources in.
Pros and cons
Many project/work opportunities
Great benefits for employees
Super fun and smart colleagues
Flexible work hours
The coffee can be better
The first project I was involved in was our own inhouse developed project management tool (yes, we love to develop our own tools to tune them perfectly to our own use cases). I started as a software engineer developing full stack, however it quickly became clear that my ambitions lay in designing user interfaces and finetuning the user experience. With full support from Prodrive, this has led to me working full time as a UI & UX designer.
As mentioned before, we often make our own tools to make them exactly right for Prodrive. It is therefore no surprise that when our inhouse developed Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) tool needed a successor, it was decided to also develop this ourselves, a multi-year endeavor. This PLM tool is used to configure all the products that we make at Prodrive. It contains all products, sub-assemblies, documents and components including version control for everything but the latter.
I have been a part of the PLM tool development team from the beginning and my main focus is, as mentioned, the user interface and experience. The day starts with a walk-in meeting with the team where everyone is free to join and talk about whatever they want. Sometimes these meetings are about the project, but they can just as well be about what we all spent our weekend on. Next up is a brainstorm meeting with the internal customers of the PLM tool where we discuss the upcoming features we want to develop. It is my job to work out the details of how such a feature functions, looks, and feels. Generally, I tend to first focus on the use cases that the feature attempts to solve, and create a proposal based on that. This proposal could be a notepad file with some ideas or a rough mockup where I visualize how I think it should look and function. After we all agree on the general solution, I work on making finalized mockups which show the feature exactly as it should be implemented. These finalized mockups are then implemented by the team, giving me the great satisfaction of seeing my design implemented and functional.
If you think good design takes too much time, you should think of the time it takes all the users to figure out bad design.
Pros and cons
Support to follow personal ambitions.
Free lunch, dinner and use of the onsite gym.
Freedom to elaborate on ideas, even if not everyone is convinced immediately.
Never enough people to spar with regarding UI & UX design
I develop features for the internal manufacturing execution system which controls Prodrive Technologies’ manufacturing. The demands in the factory change rapidly and my job is to support those demands with high-quality software which takes the load off manual manufacturing and automates the process. That is why my day-to-day schedule changes constantly. You would be surprised by how dynamic the job of a Software Designer can be.
One thing is constant - my day always starts with a sleepy bus ride to the office. Sometimes I have an early stakeholder meeting to discuss the specifics of the next feature I will be working on, other days I take a cup of coffee and write code until lunch. When I get stuck on a problem, I often go down the hall to ask one of my co-workers for their advice. One reason I love working at Prodrive Technologies is that everyone is always open to help you out and brainstorm with you.
In the software department you can always guess when it’s time for lunch without looking at the clock. When 11.30am strikes (early I know, but coding makes us hungry) everyone’s inner alarm rings and we head to the canteen. There, my colleagues and I sit and chat whilst enjoying some nice food from the Prodrive Technologies kitchen.
After lunch, I head back to my office and start tackling the rest of the day. I work on both back-end and front-end which I personally enjoy very much. Whatever it is that I am working on, it is important to test it. Sometimes I spend a whole day on testing to make sure that when the solution is deployed it is durable and reliable.
Of course, it can happen that a critical error occurs in the system and it threatens to halt production. Within minutes, the responsible engineer is contacted for support. If it is me, I drop whatever I am doing and try to solve the problem as quick as possible. Prodrive Technologies’ manufacturing operates around the clock, so every second matters. And people say software engineering is not exciting.
If it didn’t make me happy, it wouldn’t be my job
Pros and cons
Freedom to express ideas and be heard
The opportunity to take on as much responsibility as you’re comfortable with
A fun environment with many international coworkers
Flexible work hours
Exciting variety of work assignments
I get distracted reading the Prodrive news
I usually start the workday at a comfortable 9:30 by sipping a cup of tea while reviewing some code, and perhaps reading an article on the news app that I helped develop. At Prodrive you’ll see software written in many languages on many platforms, from embedded software to iPhone apps. At the time I didn’t have any experience with iOS/Swift, but the project looked interesting, so I jumped in anyway. It was lots of fun, and I learned a new language as a bonus.
In the afternoon my team has a meeting with some of our users, who are also my colleagues. We’re building a .NET application to support development of product tests, and today we’re demonstrating a new feature. Feedback from our users is key in the design process, because together they have tons of experience with Prodrive products, past and present. They tell us about tricky cases we need to consider and suggest features that will make their life easier. This is as much a creative process as it is a technical one.
During the meeting, I’ll probably learn a thing or two about PCBA manufacturing and testing along the way. I have a background in game design and didn’t know much about electronics when I started, so for me working at Prodrive was a deep dive into a new world. Currently we have a real need for developers that are well versed in UI/UX/graphical design, so even if your technical knowledge is limited, I can guarantee you will be more than welcome.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth a thousand meetings
Pros and cons
Flexibility and freedom in when/how you want to work
There’s plenty room for learning and experimentation
Delicious meatballs if you stay for dinner on the right day
The Prodrive Technologies Mindset
You don’t just go to work, you feel responsible for your project
You decide when, where and how much you want to work
You like to think about manufacturability when designing
You don’t sit and wait, you have a hands-on mentality
What we offer
- Perfect environment for those eager to develop themselves and take full responsibility for a project.
- Many opportunities for personal and professional development, along with the flexibility to explore diverse roles across various projects.
- A young and dynamic culture which stimulates innovative thinking and taking initiatives.
- Personal budget just for you to learn new things. Your growth is our priority.
- Flexibility of a 24/7 work environment with provided lunch, dinner, and access to our company gym.
- Personalized development plan to craft your future.
- You will receive essential tools if these are necessary to perform your job (i.e. iPhone and laptop).
- On-campus sports facilities enable you to incorporate exercise seamlessly into your work routine.
- A performance-driven salary that grows with your accomplishments.
- Unlock the opportunity to become a shareholder and entrepreneur within the company.
- Travel allowance based on the days you are actually at Prodrive Technologies.
- Work-life balance with at least 33 vacation days per year.
- Access a retirement plan.
- Your journey with us starts with a swift review of your application by one of our recruiters.
- In some cases, if we see a potential fit, you will receive an exclusive link to our online aptitude test to assess if you’re up for the challenge.
- We will schedule a personal interview not only to determine if your skills match the job, but also to see if there is a spark between you and Prodrive Technologies.
- To complete the application journey we will send you a suitable offer and once you sign, we can welcome you to the Prodrive Technologies family.