An insight to: Software Engineering at Ultra

22 March 2021

In every market where we operate, Ultra’s work is about using our knowhow and ingenuity to protect what matters. To do this, we recognize that the right talent is critical to our success which is why we thrive on hiring brilliant people to help attain our goals.

From developing Submarine Weapon Interface equipment to managing Integrated Sonar Systems, our Software Engineers are a critical component of the work we do. We spoke with five Software Engineers, all ranging in experiences and backgrounds to provide some insight on what it’s like to work at Ultra.

Software Engineer 1: six months at Ultra – Robert
Software Engineer 2: 12 years at Ultra – Bill
Software Engineer 3: five years at Ultra – Steve  
Software Engineer 4: 18 months at Ultra – Mike
Software Engineer 5: four years and eight months at Ultra – Brian

Choosing software engineering as a career at Ultra

Mike: “After leaving University with a Bachelor’s in computer science, I decided I’d like to move into a software role working on software interfacing to the hardware. I worked in communications in a variety of software engineering and technical/team leadership roles for the next 20 years before moving to aerospace 11 years ago, where I continued in team and technical leadership roles until deciding to join Ultra.” 

Brian: “What drew me in was the ability to oversee full end-to-end project lifecycle, often including deployment to naval platforms.”

The best parts of working for Ultra

Robert: “I enjoy the blend of software development with advanced sonar research. The work at Ultra is interesting and the company offers competitive salary and benefits.”

Steve: “For me, it’s about the diversity of the work from a technology and domain perspective provides more than enough opportunity to develop skills.”

Mike: “The variety of work and the challenge of working in sometimes unfamiliar domains is one of the best parts. The people are also great—we have a good dynamic as a software team and most of the projects require working across cross-functional teams covering a number of engineering disciplines.”

Understanding Ultra’s culture

Robert: “The culture here is great. I genuinely enjoy working with everyone in my team and believe there is great communication between all members.”

Mike: “In the Defence Equipment area, the projects often have a tight timescale and fairly rigorous acceptance criteria. The projects usually involve working as part of a cross-functional team so, an inclusive and collaborative working environment are of great importance. The engineering staff are empowered to determine the best way of achieving the project goals and as an organization. Ultra continuously supports the personal development of its staff through regular reviews of training needs.”

Brian: “Ultra develops fast-paced projects delivered to a high level of rigour for sensitive and mission-critical environments. The development teams are formed specifically for projects and, largely, disbanded once successful delivery of those projects. The size of the development team varies depending on the scale of the project; from multiple software engineers down to project teams of single individuals.”

Advice for joining the Ultra team

Bill: “Put a lot in, and you’ll get a lot out!”

Steve: “We have a broad range of jobs advertised, do not be put off if you are not ticking all the boxes for a specific job. We have a broad and changing portfolio of projects utilizing various new and old software technologies. Our agile approach means that good team players with a good technical potential, and a positive can-do attitude will always be of interest.”

Brian: “It’s important to be aware that Ultra produces electronic products and that software is a piece of that puzzle, rather than the whole product. As custodians of the business logic, however, software engineers are expected to oversee a greater portion of the solution than other engineering functions. As a consequence, software engineers typically remain involved in project lifecycles beyond the development of the software. Software engineers need to have an understanding of the other domains, particularly electrical, in order to operate efficiently at Ultra.”

Looking to join the team to help solve complex problems we don’t even know about yet? Our continual growth as a company has opened up numerous software engineering roles, across all levels. Check out our careers page for more information

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