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Computer Network Operations Specialist

The biggest attraction for me was the chance to do an interesting job that gives me the chance to work on projects that you would not find anywhere else. So, although the application process was longer than other employers – with security vetting etc – I knew it would be worth it. There’s a variety of work to do, from software development, to reverse engineering larger programmes, which takes a lot of time and patience, so it can be very challenging. I’ve already been able to contribute to a new capability, which will ultimately deploy code that I’ve written in real operational scenarios. You also get the chance to learn in a number of ways. I’ve been able to attend conferences and advanced courses, which has been an excellent experience. The courses have covered a range of subjects, such as advanced reverse engineering and malware analysis, as well as basic to advanced training on operating systems and smaller courses presented by internal teams. I‘ve also had the opportunity to visit other GCHQ sites and learn about the technicalities of our different capabilities. What surprised me most about working here is the very relaxed atmosphere inside the building, and the number of young people who work here. I was also given a high-end server all to myself for my development work, which was impressive. What I hadn’t realised was the scale of cyber threat against the UK from all sorts of places, and the pressing need to understand them in order to protect the country. It’s good to know that I’m helping to gather intelligence about any possible disruptions or attacks to our networks and national infrastructure.

Departments and Roles at GCHQ