Kirsty

Quality Assurance Manager, Simulations

Location: Abingdon
Degree: Operational Research
Start Date: 1997
"I have an education in maths and started out as a software engineer, but realized that I was more interested in how the software was used, so I changed career. I’ve never looked back."
Kirsty Burton

Can you briefly describe your career to date?

My first experience of Schlumberger was over 20 years ago, as an intern. I joined as a software engineer in 1997 and since then have had a variety of roles in software development, client support, quality assurance and management.

What attracted you to Schlumberger and why did you decide to join us?

I liked the idea that you could stay technical throughout your career in SLB and not get “stuck” at a particular level.

Why did you become a reservoir engineer?

I have an education in maths and started out as a software engineer, but realized that I was more interested in how the software was used, so I changed in career. I've never looked back, and will never tell you which bits of the software I wrote!

What does your current role involve?

I (try to) make sure that our software is fit for purpose prior to being released. I'm involved in all aspects of the production and use of reservoir simulation software. As a member of our central support team I'm involved in projects from all over the world, and fielding questions and problems from clients. As part of the QA team I influence the product before clients get to see it. Is it doing the right thing? Is it useful? Is it usable?

What do you enjoy most about working for Schlumberger?

I enjoy working with motivated, creative, intelligent people.

What types of challenges do you face in your job?

How to find the balance between schedule, functionality and quality! For business purposes there is often a strong push to release software by a date with some new piece of functionality. However we need to remember not to compromise quality in the rush to deliver something new and innovative.

What are your favorite activities beyond work?

I love to travel and go on active holidays—sailing, skiing, trekking. I go to gym classes to make sure I am fit enough to enjoy these holidays. I sit on the sofa eating chocolate to mitigate the effects of the gym. I visit Cornwall often and dream of retiring there while I am still young enough to swim and surf in the sea.