What it’s like to be a software developer in the automotive industry
Colleagues at Jaguar Land Rover, Shannon. Image: Connor McKenna/Siliconrepublic.com

What it’s like to be a software developer in the automotive industry

13 Mar 20202.66k Views

We asked staff at Jaguar Land Rover in Shannon about the tech roles available at the site and the most important skills for success.

We recently visited the offices of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in Shannon, which – as its general manager and site lead, John Cormican, told us – is a software development centre of excellence for the company.

Cormican said that the focus of the centre is primarily on “things like autonomous driving, automated driving and connectivity solutions”.

“So, connecting our cars to the outside world and making them updatable through software updates over the air, electrification strategy and also on share mobility services,” he explained.

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To help the company achieve these goals, the HR team at JLR is currently on the lookout for new joiners. We spoke to one of its representatives, Jessica O’Neill, to learn more.

According to O’Neill, it’s currently a “very exciting time and a brilliant opportunity to join the team” at the Shannon site.

“We’re recruiting for highly skilled and advanced software engineers with opportunities in areas such as cybersecurity, embedded software and validation, to name a few,” she said.

The right mix of skills at JLR

If you’re considering applying for a role at JLR Shannon, what can you expect to find once you join? One of the site’s software developers, Richard Taylor, gave us some insights.

He highlighted the diverse skills – technical and otherwise – that are important for a software developer at JLR.

His work in the advanced driver assistance systems department sees him drawing on what he calls “all the usual stuff”, which includes C++, CPython, Linux and Git, among others.

But it’s important that softer skills are also prioritised by people working at JLR Shannon. “When you’re working on something as advanced as autonomous driving, for example, it requires a lot of interdisciplinary and cross-functional collaboration to achieve,” Taylor added.

“JLR is a British company, so we’ve to work very closely with our colleagues in the UK and throughout the world, as well with bases in Portland and India, too.

“So it’s very important that, alongside the technical skillsets, you also have proficiencies in the likes of teamwork and networking and communication skills as well.”

Overall, Cormican said that the amount of technology continuing to filter into the automotive industry is “hugely exciting and very, very new”. At Shannon, he added, “engineers get to see their actual work in our vehicles, which can be hugely motivating and inspiring”.

By Lisa Ardill

Lisa joined the team as senior Careers reporter in July 2019 with previous experience in science communication and media. With a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication, she is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos.

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