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Securing a job in the oil and gas industry amid the untimely downturn


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Studying for an MSc in computing network management and design at Robert Gordon University, Barry Webb discusses his success in securing a job in the oil and gas industry amid the untimely downturn.

What my job involves: I am the Software Developer at Hydro Group, a global design and manufacturer of underwater cables and connectors for the subsea and defence sector. My responsibilities include building and maintaining the internal systems used in both the Aberdeen and Singapore office. The programmes I work on look after job tracking, stock control and traceability as well as cost forecasting.

Why did you choose a career in the oil and gas industry? Growing up in Aberdeen I have always been surrounded by the oil and gas industry and those who have been able to succeed and make a name for themselves, inspiring me to work in the industry. However, I wasn’t aware of how I would integrate my interest in computing with the industry, as I thought the industry involved working offshore on oil rigs.

When I was offered a placement with Hydro Group in December 2014 I was absolutely thrilled as it combined my interest in software and computing with the oil and gas industry. Whilst on my placement I gained in-depth knowledge of what Hydro Group offer as a business, and what needs they have in terms of software development, whilst learning multiple programming languages. Completing the placement alongside my final year of university allowed me to draw upon what I was learning in lectures, and incorporate it in my work for Hydro Group.

What do you want to achieve in your career? I would say that I ultimately want to be successful and to have a lengthy career. As long as I enjoy my job and look forward to going to work each day I would say that I have had a successful career. I am aware of how lucky I am to have even started my career in the oil and gas industry at the time that I have and hope to continue this good fortune throughout.

What do you value most about your job? I would have to say that the opportunity to begin my career after my placement finished has been the most valuable part of my job. It was incredible to have been offered a full time-position when other companies were letting go staff and making redundancies, I am very thankful to Hydro Group for investing in my future.

What is the best piece of advice you have received? The careers advice service at RGU were really supportive to all the students, and I remember them telling us to not worry about graduating with little experience, that companies will be able to realise the potential we all had and would be willing to invest in our futures. Fortunately, that was the truth, and Hydro Group offered me a job amid the biggest downturn the industry has faced in the past generation.