20221005 173504

Roke meets


Some of our employees love it so much here that even when they leave, they eventually come back! One such Rokie is Infrastructure Engineer Jay. We caught up with him to chat about why he left, and why he came back, as well as how he challenges himself everyday and his many roles as a dad!

What do you do at Roke?

I’m an Infrastructure Engineer currently seconded to IT to design and build a brand-new accredited network. Once complete I’ll be administering the network. I’ve also been working on a Network Discovery project to de-mystify and understand the scope of Roke’s many networks.

You worked for us before. What made you come back?

I was always very proud to work for Roke (and still am) and for what I had achieved here. I had passion and interest in the work I was doing and working at Roke meant a lot to me. I left because I needed a new challenge, but it didn’t take long for me to regret my decision. I missed the people, the grounds, the autonomy, and the important and interesting projects. It dawned on me that whilst I wanted something different and a new challenge, I was never unhappy. In hindsight, I wished I’d never left, but it did make me realise how much I enjoy working here. I’m now back, working in a different role, which is both challenging and rewarding, and I’m extremely happy to be here!

What is a typical day like for you?

I generally work from the office most days. In this new role, there are lot more meetings to attend, so I’m getting used to checking my diary for spontaneous invites. I tend to start at around 07:15-07:45 at home, to see what my day is looking like and make sure there are no emergencies to deal with, prioritise some tasks and to-do list. I then commute into Roke (after the school run) for about 08:45. Currently, my role is heavily involved technically, so my day will be spent between the lab and the office - building equipment, testing, creating, and updating documents, and attending meetings. My day usually finishes between 16:30-17:00.

What were you doing in between your two stints at Roke?

I left in November 2022 to join a company called ForgeRock as an engineer working in Identity Management and Authentication. This was a fully remote role working for a US company. I came to realise that working fully remote is not for me!

How have you applied past experience to your career at Roke?

ForgeRock was very service and support focused, so I picked up some good ideas and working methods that I’m keen to implement and incorporate where I can. Collaboration and knowledge sharing are high on the list and something I’m keen to implement in my current projects and hope to impart on others.

How has Roke supported your career so far?

In my first stint at Roke, I learned a huge amount from working with experienced engineers. I went from being a ‘raw’ engineer to learning some very niche technical skills and experiences. In applying those skills, it helped me to grow as a person and gain confidence, something that I lacked when I originally joined. Joining Roke back in 2016 was a huge positive turning point in my career. I can still remember getting the acceptance letter from HR and the elated feeling!

What do you do when you’re not working?

My children usually decide what I’m doing when not working. School runs, taxi runs, cook, cleaner and homework helper! Well, when I’m not doing any of that I’ll be walking the dogs, gaming, studying languages and researching some component at work that isn’t behaving.