The diversity of skills needed at CERN is so much larger than what most people know! Meet Katarina, Software engineer at CERN

Don’t hesitate - Take Part!


Hi Katarina, tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to CERN?
I’m a Swedish Software Engineer who joined CERN in March 2000. What encouraged me to apply to CERN was the combination of a fit with my technical competencies at the time, the international environment and the geographic location. I also liked the fact that I would be able to practice both English and French, but both languages were not necessary to apply and get a job.

Can you tell us some more about your experience here?
I started as a Java developer in a team developing software for the CERN accelerator operators. After a few years, I was given the responsibility of a project of my own, with a small team to supervise and with a diverse user community of, mainly, accelerator and technical infrastructure operators. Being a technical project/service lead, requires a nice combination of technical and soft skills, which in my case also allowed me to prepare for my next challenge… In a re-organisation in 2009, I was asked to take the lead of the team of 20 people where I was working at the time, forcing my focus more towards the managerial side for a period, even though I always tried to keep in touch with the technical side. Since then I have changed to another section, still in the same group, with a slightly different technical profile and a different user community from my previous section. 

What has working at CERN been like for you?
For me, working at CERN has meant an interesting mix of new challenges and stability; of constantly meeting new people and still working with persons I met on the day of my first visit to CERN! I have been fortunate to continuously be offered new activities, allowing me to grow professionally, while still having enough time in each role to acquire and perfect the new skills needed. 

What are your key ‘take aways’ and what advice would you give potential applicants?
The diversity of skills needed at CERN is so much larger than what most people know! For most jobs, like mine for example, there is no need to know Particle Physics. There are also many opportunities to learn on the job, here at CERN. So, don’t hesitate - Take Part!


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