This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.


  • The Role
  • The Company
  • The Culture

Role Description

Development of MantidPlot, a scientific data analysis tool for neutron and muon scattering experiments.

    The Role

  • 1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
  • The experience taught me professional programming in an environment I'd have never visited otherwise, in a part of the country where there was always something to do outside of work. So I was always doing something


  • 2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
  • The Office was a bit quiet, as I expected a bit more casual conversation, but then I suppose everyone was focused. It was a bit of a new environment for me.


  • 3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
  • The two senior members of the team were always on had to give guidance in this rather large program, with was especially good for someone like me with a little less confidence in his programming.


  • 4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
  • With a 3-month release schedule and a backlog of tickets needing down there was always something to do, but there wasn't an imperative rush to do all your assigned tickets unless it was something rather critical as it could always wait until next release.


  • 5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
  • I could have been given a specialist are to work on within the project, but I felt that my programming wasn't up to scratch. But in the tickets i did do, my work was always checked by my peers before it was added to the next release.


  • 6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
  • MY C++ was polished to a standard, as well as picking up more skills in python and learning to use Git. I became aware of Qt, boost and Poco as libraries to use in cross-platform projects.


    The Company

  • 7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
  • As I mentioned previously the office didn't really have much in the way of conversation, and i felt like i didn't know my colleagues as well as i could have.


  • 8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
  • As ISIS is under the Science and Technology facilities council (STFC) when i was getting ready to start i had to go though their HR, which was rather a pain as they weren't on site and didn't know about specific placements unless a specific person was in the office. After starting however it was a well oiled machine, without a hiccup.


  • 9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
  • We had training for Manual handling and Fire safety (great fun, we got to set off a fire extinguisher) but not much else.


  • 10. What were the perks on your work placement?
  • Flexi Time

    Sports and Social Club


  • 11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
  • In my department there were no higher prospects within itself, but the graduate scheme is an option, allowing a trail of each of the possibilities available to you within ISIS.


    The Culture

  • 12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
  • There was initially but it was a bit ah-hoc and mostly coincidental, but i became involved with and helped found "Students@Harwell", a group aiming to unite all the undergrads, graduates and PhD students on the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Site (ISIS was amongst a group of STFC department on the site) The group seemed successful and helped connect people


  • 13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
  • The cost of living is slightly higher than i was used to, but then I'm from Cumbria, it's bound to be comparatively. For the geeky minded there are plenty of social groups in the area (Board games, MTG, and Anime are all catered for excellently), and travel to London is very cheap (about £13 day-return on a coach with student discount)


  • 14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
  • Not applicable for me as I'm not fond of clubs


  • 15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
  • The on-site recreational society and the newly founded Students@Harwell provided events to get people together, and there were opportunities to help as a guide for the entire RAL site


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Placement Year (10 Months+)

Computer Science

8th November 2013

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