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A Day In The Life: Dan Unsworth, Infrastructure Engineer, DWP Digital

Dan Unsworth, Infrastructure Engineer

Ever wondered what it's like to work at one of Greater Manchester's leading tech employers or what specific job roles get up to each day?

Dan Unsworth is an Infrastructure Engineer at DWP Digital. We spoke to him to find out more about this role, his experience at DWP Digital, and what an average day looks like.

Name: Dan Unsworth

Job Title: Infrastructure Engineer

Time in the role: 1 year

How did you get into your current role? 

I fell into engineering; it was never the plan. I joined DWP Digital with zero digital skills about 6 years ago in an admin role. Through being curious, proactive, and getting to know the right people, I learned more about what I wanted to do and made the move towards increasingly technical roles. Ultimately, that culminated in where I am today working in the Tooling team. 

What do you enjoy most about working at DWP Digital? 

Two things: the modern technology and the people. The stereotypes around the Civil Service being old school in their attitude and approach couldn’t be more wrong. What we’re doing in the Tooling team with industry leading vendors such as Splunk, Cribl and Dynatrace is completely cutting edge. Secondly, the people I work with are talented, like-minded, caring and generally good fun to be around. It’s a great combination. 

What does a typical day look like for you? 

DWP Digital offer hybrid working, so I go into the office 40% of the time. I coordinate my office days with my team so that we’re all in together, it makes a huge difference to be able to collaborate in person. 

We kick off the day with a stand up meeting to discuss what we’re all working on, then I crack on with my engineering tasks. My role as an Infrastructure Engineer involves designing, building, managing, and supporting the infrastructure services that underpin all internal user services and services to the public. 

My specific role is based in the Tooling team, we manage the Splunk data platform. We work with teams across the whole of Digital and Security to get data from their service, application, or infrastructure into the platform. We do this for IT Operations purposes i.e., making sure their service is running fine and to help troubleshoot any issues. Secondly, to help keep DWP safe and prevent possible fraud or misuse. A specific project I’m leading at the moment is onboarding VMware hypervisor syslog data into the platform. 

I usually have a wander around the city at lunchtime and then continue working on my tasks in the afternoon. If it’s a Thursday or Friday, my team may head out for food or drinks together.

What is it like starting a new job/working remotely during the pandemic?

It’s challenging, especially when we were strictly working from home. Now that we’ve adopted a hybrid approach it’s so much easier. I spend a couple of days in the office with my team and manager. Being able to sit next to someone at their desk or gather round a whiteboard when learning something new is much more effective.  

What excites you the most about the work of DWP Digital? 

We’re there to deliver critical services and help people, which I really get onboard with. What we do has a real impact on society, you aren’t there to put money in shareholders pockets – it’s the opposite. 

Have you learned anything new since you started? 

There is so much more to working in DWP Digital than just doing your day job. There are many other beneficial initiatives and networks to get involved in that have massively expanded my personal network and skillset.

To find out more about careers at DWP Digital, click here.

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