Do you sometimes feel like the weird edge case pictured in figure 9.1? Do typical graduate destinations such as large multi-national corporations, not really make you want to Shake Your Thang?

Perhaps you are interested in:

• using your technical skills responsibly and ethically to make the world a better place?
• starting your own business and making money for yourself, rather than other people?
• finding hidden or unadvertised vacancies?
• joining a startup instead of a large multinational corporation?
• venturing outside of the private sector?
• working in computing in roles beyond software engineering?

Broadening your initial job search described in chapter 8 will open up more opportunities on your horizon. This chapter will broaden those horizons and get you to think about some of the less obvious options, because I love weird edge cases and you should too. 😻

Many technology jobs exist outside of technology companies, because a lot of software is written to be used rather than sold. Consequently, many employers create bespoke software to fit the needs of their business. The people who build it are often employees, rather than people employed by a technology company. In the United States for example, ninety percent of IT jobs are outside the traditional tech industry. Technical jobs outside the technology sector often have the advantage of being more accessible than those within a very competitive technology sector.

## 9.1 What you will learn

1. Describe the less obvious careers that computer science can lead to, besides software engineering, including:
• Starting a business or joining a startup
• Working outside of the technology sector
• Working outside of the private sector (governments, non-profits etc)
• Roles allied to software engineering that require you to be a conversational programmer
2. Recognise the social responsibility accompanying the power held by computer scientists
3. Evaluate and compare the values of an employer with your own values and ethics

## 9.2 Beyond software engineering

The phrase software engineering has been around since Margaret Hamilton (figure 9.2) led the development of software for the Apollo Guidance Computer in the sixties. However, the practice of software engineering has been around even longer right back to Ada Lovelace in the nineteenth century.

Software engineers (or software developers if you prefer) are one of the most popular roles for graduates (see e.g. figure 5.7) but there are plenty of affiliated roles that computer scientists go into besides software engineering.

What do these roles entail?

## 9.3 Research software engineering

There are plenty of roles in computing working in research, either in computer science, or working alongside natural scientists, such as Physicists at home.cern or conventional scientists working at the laboratory bench. For example, there are lots roles in research software engineering (RSE), using software engineering to facilitate better scientific research, see society-rse.org. For example, CERN employs ten times more engineers and technicians than research physicists, see figure 9.4. For physicists to understand the data that pours off the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), you need armies of engineers to enable the scientists to do their work. A lot of those engineers are working on hardware and software, and many of them won’t be physicists.

Some examples of science laboratories in the UK and Europe that employ computer scientists is shown below:

These are mainly UK opportunities, but it is a similar story around the world. Many Universities and research institutes have summer internships for computer science students working alongside researchers. For example, at the University of Manchester, summer vacancies tend to be advertised each year around April/May. Wherever you are, speak to the head of a research lab you’re interested in. Ask them if they have plans to take on summer students.

If you’re thinking of doing postgraduate study, see chapter 13. Commercial experience gained on a summer internship or placement year is valued by all employers (not just commercial ones) so doing an internship or placement during your undergraduate degree is valuable wherever you end up, see section 13.3.

## 9.4 With great code comes great responsibility

Computer scientists wield tremendous power in the twenty first century. We know that:

• With great power comes great responsibility
• With great code comes great responsibility

Given the growing power of computing in the twenty-first century, computer scientists have a duty to society to use that power responsibly and justly. How can they do so? Do computer scientists need to sell their soul to the highest bidder? How can computer science be used to make the world a better place, not just making rich people richer? Lets look at these in turn

## 9.5 Do you need to sell your soul?

You will sometimes hear people saying you need to sell your soul to get a job, shown in figure 9.7. See for example:

So when you’re searching for jobs and researching potential employers, one of the first things you need to find out is what the values and ethical principles of an employer are, see section 8.4. This is a quick way to evaluate what makes an organisation who they are. Most employers publish their values and ethics openly, here’s a small selection to give you a flavour:

Let’s look at Morgan Stanley (figure 9.8) as an example, I’ve chosen these values because they are brief and self-explanatory. Morgan Stanley’s values are to:

1. Do the right thing: act with integrity
2. Put clients first: listen to what the client is saying and needs
3. Lead with exceptional ideas: win by breaking new ground
4. Commit to Diversity and Inclusion: value individual and cultural differences
5. Give back: serve communities generously with expertise, time and money

Look at these values carefully, or choose the values of another employer you’re interested in. What do they mean to you?

Do an employers words match their actions? The words Don’t be evil are easy to say but harder to action. Good intentions are often easier said than done.

So back to our original question, do you have to sell your soul?

• You don’t have to sell your soul
• It depends what’s in your soul anyway
• If you need help doing some soul searching, see chapter 2

## 9.6 Computing the future

The human race faces some huge challenges in the 21st century:

• Mitigating the effects of climate change, see figure 9.9
• Tackling inequalities of wealth, income, race and gender
• Ensuring algorithms benefit everyone in society, not just the (predominantly) rich old white men that control the technocracy, see figure 9.10
• Ensuring that technology enables democracy, rather than undermining it, as commentators like Jamie Bartlett, Carl Miller, Rob Reich, Mehran Sahami (any many others) have argued.
• Providing sufficient food, water, shelter, energy, education and healthcare for a growing global population of 8 billion people and counting…
• Meeting all these goals sustainably and renewably without irreversibly depleting resources

How can computing be an ethical force for change that improves the lives people everywhere, not just those that are lucky enough to be on the wealthier side of the digital divide?

• How can computing make a difference?
• How can YOU use Computer Science to make the world a better place?

Here are some examples to get you started:

How will you use your superpowers of computing we mentioned in section 4.3 to make the world a better place?

## 9.7 Breakpoints

Let’s pause here. Insert a breakpoint in your code and slowly step through it so we can examine the current values of your variables and parameters.

* PAUSE ⏸️
• How closely do a given employers values align with your own? You may need to revisit section 2.2.4.
• You might not get a 100% match but you’re unlikely to enjoy working for an employer where your values don’t match very well at all
• Are the stated values of an employer the whole story?
• Are there any unwritten or unspoken rules?
• Is there anything missing?
• Do the employers actions match their words? What an employer says and does may be contradictory. Actions speak louder than words
• What can computing do to tackle global challenges described in section 9.6
* RESUME ▶️

Once you’ve thought about these questions, you stand a much better chance of working out if a given employer is a good match for you. So do you have to sell your soul as shown in figure 9.11? It depends on what you value and if an employer shares those values with you.