Jake Gourley

07 March 2023

Meet Jake, a graduate apprentice software engineer at our Edinburgh site, who is completing a Software Development for Business degree as part of his apprenticeship.

What is your current role at Leonardo?

I am working as a third year graduate apprentice software engineer at the Edinburgh Site. I work in the radar section and I am involved in creating and implementing the software that is used to test the radars being manufactured.

What did you study at school? 

I studied Highers in Physics, Engineering Science, Maths, Computer Science and Music Tech. My favourite subjects were Engineering Science and Computer Science, as I got to work on several interesting projects throughout the courses.

Why did you decide to join Leonardo?

I wanted to join Leonardo when a former student at my high school came back to the school and gave a talk on the apprenticeship opportunities available to 5th and 6th year students. Up until this talk, I only knew a small bit about the company, so I decided to further research the apprenticeships available. I decided that Leonardo was the right place for me, as I have always had a strong fascination in the aerospace sector.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship? 

I chose an apprenticeship as I wanted to gain a solid baseline for my career, while also studying at university. I prefer a learning environment where I can take the theory that I learn at university and apply it to real world projects. The apprenticeship has been a good way for me to receive feedback and learn from professionals who are already in the career I want to pursue.

Tell us what you do in a typical day

I currently work on developing new software and features for our radars. My typical day involves designing, creating and reviewing code that will be used in testing the radar systems. Due to this, I work closely with other teams and engineers around me to help create a fully functional solution. Throughout the week, I also attend retrospectives where my team meet and discuss how the current sprint is going, and what we need to plan for during the upcoming sprint. A sprint is a short, time-boxed period set for the team to complete a specific amount of work.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

What I enjoy most about my job is the variety in the day-to-day work. The team I am in uses a form of “AGILE” development, which is a way of completing a project by breaking it up into several phases. This lets us focus on developing and implementing smaller pieces of software, and results in us all working on smaller tasks and different parts of the software.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Outside of work, I like to create homebrew software for my games consoles and I love to play tabletop role-playing games and video games.

What have been your biggest achievements at Leonardo so far?

So far, my biggest achievement has been getting approval to start on my third year project after talking with stakeholders and other software engineers about the possible challenges I may have to face, and the best way to overcome those challenges.

What are your career aspirations?

I hope to continue broadening my knowledge on the theoretical side of computer science – which I have been doing through my Software Development for Business degree since the start of my apprenticeship – and the physical application of the theory within the active projects that I am involved with.