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Cambridge, East of England, England (Vereinigtes Königreich)
201 bis 500 Mitarbeiter
Gemeinnützige Organisation
Computer-Hardware & -Software
Unbekannt / Nicht zutreffend

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Ewan Birney and Rolf Apweiler
14 Bewertungen
  • Hilfreich (3)

    „All the right ingredients but not fully living up to its potential”

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    Ehem. Mitarbeiter - Senior Software Engineer in Hinxton, England (Vereinigtes Königreich)
    Ehem. Mitarbeiter - Senior Software Engineer in Hinxton, England (Vereinigtes Königreich)
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    Ich habe in Vollzeit bei European Bioinformatics Institute gearbeitet (Über 8 Jahre)


    Beautiful campus with great facilities, restaurant, gym, coffee shops etc. Free buses to campus and free tea/coffee and biscuits at 3 pm every day. It is that sort of place.

    Salaries are reasonable and generous benefits can make a very attractive package dependent on circumstances. Excellent health insurance and allowances for being married, having children and being recruited from outside the UK really can add up. However, this does mean a person doing the same job as the person next to them can be paid as much as £1,000 per month more based on their family setup.

    It is very easy to get a good life balance as long as you are happy with zero career progression. For scientists, EBI is seen as a prestigious destination and a reward for years of hard work as a post-doc. There is plenty of holiday, sick days, child sick days, flexible working arrangements. If you have a family it is ideal.

    If you do want to progress it is very competitive and political with long hours and frequent travel the norm at higher levels. You will be competing against people who "get up at 4 am and think about science".

    EBI attracts great people from all over the world both smart and great to work with. EBI has the ingredient to be world class as tech as well as science but a shakeup is needed for it to fulfil its potential.


    Winning grants and publishing glowing papers are the only things group leaders are measured on. This means the delivery of services is often a secondary concern. Many projects run out of steam after 1-2 years and are slowly left to die as the PI chases the next thing.

    Many leaders, especially those who have been at EBI for over 9 years, have never worked outside of campus after university which means they live in a bubble inside the bubble of Cambridge. This gives a very limited world view. As a result, mentoring and promotion is often limited to "people like me" who have a very similar background.

    Software developers are recruited at two grades 5 (junior) and 6 (senior). Higher grades are people and project management roles and nearly always require a scientific background. Grade at joining is often more to do with the budget of the project at hiring time rather than competency. Once recruited into a grade it is very hard to progress.

    Salaries and grades are out of line with other EMBL sites and do not take into account the high cost of accommodation in Cambridge. For example, an average software developer at EBI would expect to pay 35%+ of their salary on the rental of a modest apartment. In Heidelberg, this is more like 15% due to the difference in grading, exchange rates and cost of living.

    Training and development is limited as EMBL is set up for PhD scientists with all the skills they need rather than software where skills change all the time. Like many things, this seems mainly to be due to the centralised policy at Heidelberg rather than anything EBI management can control. This does mean that as a developer unless you have time to invest in your own skills development you are likely to see your skills rot during your time at EBI and may cause problems when your contract comes to an end.

    Rat an das Management

    Take control of training and development at EBI and fund it. Aim for EBI to be world class at tech, not just science. Values and support those that want to progress. Saying "EBI does not value deep tech skills" is not acceptable. Tech needs to work with science to release the full potential or the institute.

    Return to having three grade for software developers 5 (junior), 6 (mid) and 7 (senior) with only 8 being a management level. Provide clearly defined requirements for each level and a career path for moving between them.

    Address discrepancies in salary and benefits between people with different family circumstances and between different EMBL sites.

    Take mental health seriously, support people that want to progress, continued frustration is damaging. Make the development of staff something that group leaders are accountable for and measured on. It is tragic to see the real damage caused to some of the smartest and most motivated people I have met as they wilted trapped in a gilded cage.

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European Bioinformatics Institute-Foto von: Outside EBI main building
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Vorstellungsgespräche bei European Bioinformatics Institute



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  1. Hilfreich (2)  

    Software Engineer-Vorstellungsgespräch

    Anonymer Bewerber im Vorstellungsgespräch in Hinxton, England (Vereinigtes Königreich)
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    Ich habe mich online beworben. Der Vorgang dauerte mehr als 2 Wochen. Vorstellungsgespräch absolviert im Juni 2016 bei European Bioinformatics Institute (Hinxton, England (Vereinigtes Königreich)).


    I was told to purchase plane tickets and hotel reservations for Hinxton, UK. I flew to London Stansted airport, where I was greeted by a driver who took me to Hinxton. For my interview, I was asked to give a 15 minute presentation related to the field, then I was asked some questions, both technical and general. I then took a written skills test for 30 minutes. Next I met with some of my would-be co-workers and had lunch with them. Finally I spoke with the HR representative to discuss exactly what would happen were I to get hired.

    Fragen im Vorstellungsgespräch

    • What is the computational speed of looking something up in a hash table?   2 Antworten
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