An international perspective
There's always lots going on in our digital services teams. But what's it really like working here at NICE? We talk to a member of the team to find out.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Jose Almeida and I’m a senior developer here at NICE. I’m based in Manchester but I’m originally from Portugal, from a nice seaside town near Porto called Povoa. Back home I have 3 cats named Maria, Elsa and Filo and a rabbit named Brownie. But I live in a flat in Manchester so can’t really have pets there. I love outdoorsy things like jogging and cycling. There’s a website called Let’s Ride that lets you join a random group of people and just cycle together around Manchester. I usually do that on weekends. I also enjoy reading, going to the movies or theatre, and playing the odd adventure video game here and there!
When did you join NICE?
I joined NICE in April 2016.
What was it that made you want to work with us?
NICE’s reputation, mainly. I’ve previously worked in healthcare, doing research and software development. NICE’s work in developing guidance is very well known, internationally as well. So the name was already on my radar when I saw the job advert! And I wanted to try something new. The opportunity to work on a different side of healthcare tech - the guidance and evidence side - was really attractive. Plus I always intended to work for the public sector or civil service, that’s always been my thing. So NICE was a really good fit.
Describe your career journey so far.
I went to university in Portugal and got my software engineering degree. Then I worked in industry for a few months, doing point of sale software development. I didn’t really enjoy that, so I went back to university and decided to focus on more of a healthcare path. So I did a Master's in health informatics at the University of Porto and that’s really where my passion for the healthcare sector started. After that, my professors invited me to join their research team. I did research and healthcare software development with them for about 5 years. That was working in a research group at the faculty of medicine in close collaboration with a teaching hospital. It was basically a mix of start-up and research environments. Then I got a bit fed up with research and applying for grants and wanted to do more hands-on work. Software development in the healthcare space was a big part of my role but I wanted to focus on that even more. So I decided to start looking for new opportunities. I had friends working in healthcare in Manchester as doctors and software developers. So I knew there was a good healthcare tech and research scene in Manchester. Then I came over to the UK, applied for a few jobs, and got the role here at NICE.
How has NICE supported you in achieving your goals?
NICE has supported me pretty much from the get-go. They were great from the moment I was invited to interview - even the interview itself was just wonderful! The team are very supportive. I really have the space to focus on personal development and on things that interest me. I’m able to learn new tools and technology and how to build different things. It’s really interesting. Especially because the tech we use here is very up to date. We’re not afraid to try new things, to have an agile approach to building our products. We can propose and discuss things and adopt new tech as we find it fit. It’s a very good team environment to grow in, both professionally and personally. There are lots of team activities at NICE too, like team lunches and office parties. The social aspect is very cool. I didn’t really have that at the last place I worked so I really enjoy it here.
One of the best things about NICE, though, is that you have proper development tools. So you don’t feel like you’re being held back in delivering your work. The development environment, the tooling around deploying our applications, it’s all really, really good. Our pipelines are great to use too. There’s a famous developer called Joel and he made a list of 12 things you need to make a good software team. I think the digital services function here at NICE ticks off everything on that list. It’s just a joy, really, as a software developer - you just get giddy about all this stuff!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
On a personal level, I think it’s the team collaboration. The team are really nice people. From a developer standpoint, having good tech and interesting projects to work on is great too. You know that everything you’re working on is really helping not just NICE, but also the NHS as a whole. So you feel part of it, that you’re contributing as a developer to the whole NHS. That’s really cool.
Describe the culture of NICE in 3 words.
Collaborative, impactful and open. But I could go on for hours!