Meet Elif, software developer from Turkey

As a software developer, working on real-time software of the complex instruments of CERN is a unique opportunity.

Hi Elif, tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to CERN?

Hello! My name is Elif, I am from Turkey. I obtained my bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from Marmara University, İstanbul.
The first time I heard about CERN was when I saw the first collisions of LHC on TV news. As a primary school student, I couldn’t understand a lot but It didn’t stop me from bugging my teachers and parents for an explanation.  After 11 years, as a new graduate computer engineer, I decided to follow my dreams. I was fortunate to be given an opportunity to work as a Software developer at CERN.

What do you do at CERN today?

I work as a software developer at Accelerator Systems Department, Beam Instrumentation Group, Software Section. I work on the software of diagnostic devices used by the accelerator operators to control the particle beams. This includes a variety of types of work such as developing real-time software or designing graphical user interfaces for that system. I am using Java and C++ programming languages with and without in-house frameworks. I communicate with physicists, accelerator operators, and other developers in order to complete my tasks which is very enjoyable since I get to know different people with different backgrounds that teach me new things every day. 

What is working at CERN like for you?

CERN is a very special place where people from different backgrounds, different cultures, different countries come together and collaborate to answer the hardest questions in the world. For me, it is very inspiring to see this big, diverse team running like clockwork to achieve greatness. I feel very lucky to be able to contribute to such an organization that pushes the limits of the current knowledge of humanity. 
I believe enthusiasm, creativity, and open communications are key elements of the culture here, which conducts a joyful working environment. Free of Monday syndrome!

As a software developer, working on real-time software of the complex instruments of CERN is a unique opportunity. I can see that understanding the working principles and concepts of these instruments is widening my horizon. Also, I need to be perfectly aware of the resources I am using and the performance of the software which is making me a better developer day by day.

What have been the main hurdles or challenges you encountered along the way?

The biggest challenge I encountered was definitely to move to a different country. Moving far away from friends and family was hard. Knowing that everything is new outside, the moment I stepped out of the airport in Geneva was a bit scary. Getting around without knowing the local language, bureaucratic challenges, finding an apartment, memorizing the bus numbers…  At first, all of those seem like very hard problems. But it turns out everyone here had to deal with it and everyone did, successfully. Receiving a warm welcome on my first day, made me feel much less anxious about those. With the help of my colleagues and friends, I was able to overcome all of these challenges.

What advice would you give potential applicants?

If you are interested in CERN, go for it. Everyone has something to contribute here. I believe this is one of the reasons making CERN very special. If you like to learn new things every day and want to be amazed by your job, it is the right place!

Inspired? Take the step and  apply now !

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