Mission to Mars - October 23rd to 26th 2017 - Software Cornwall

Software Cornwall is pleased to announce that another Mission to Mars is being prepped, ready for launch this October. The four-day long program invites budding software developers to code Bert & Ernie, our Mars rover robots, allowing them to traverse the tricky Martian terrain in search of extraterrestrial life.

For the experience, small groups of participants, aged 14+, will take the form of an exciting new startup that has won a contract to deliver a software driven product. The teams, with support from mentors, will work on a number of challenges in order to fulfill the contract.

On the final day, each startup will have the opportunity to present their work to local employers and developers, and talk to them more about their businesses, jobs, and career opportunities as well as get advice on the best pathway to working in the software sector in Cornwall.

During the mission, applicants will:

  • Develop solutions using C++ for Raspberry PI and Arduino based hardware.
  • Work as part of a close-knit team.
  • Create software using an Agile development process.
  • Test solutions before deploying onto the rovers.
  • Present their product to potential ‘investors’ and VIPs.


Person Specification

Personal Qualities and Attitudes    

  • Must be a good time-keeper.
  • Smart appearance. Dress code is smart casual clothing.
  • Good communication skills and friendly manner.
  • Enthusiastic approach to learning.
  • The ability to comply with instruction and follow set systems.
  • The ability to work with others and independently.
  • The ability to be flexible and adaptable in dealing with different tasks.


Special Knowledge & Skills

  • An interest in Computer Science and Software Engineering.
  • Knowledge of coding would be an advantage but is not essential.


General Information

Travel: You will be expected to get yourself to and from Software Cornwall every day.

Software Cornwall Ltd, Gateway Business Centre, Barncoose, Redruth, TR15 1SP Cornwall

Dress:  The dress code is smart/casual

Age: The programme is aimed at people aged 14+. If you’re a mature 13 year old you should still apply.

Arrival: You should arrive on time each day and use the bell to ring Bluefruit reception to access the offices and then report to their reception to let them know you have arrived.

Induction including Health and Safety: On your first day, you will be given a health and safety briefing, including emergency procedures, before you begin any work. You will be shown around the premises and introduced to the staff.

Lunch: One hour (time to be agreed: normally 12.30pm until 1.30pm, although the timing may vary day to day). You will be required to bring a packed lunch or alternatively, you can purchase your lunch from the café on site which serves sandwiches, snacks, and drinks.

Working with different members of staff/mentors: During the week, you will have a chance of working alongside our mentors and have the opportunity to carry out different tasks and duties that they will advise and support you to complete. These tasks and duties are all subject to change and the mentors may vary from day to day.

Photography: During the mission, the Software Cornwall team will be taking photographs to use in our promotional materials. In the lead up to the first day, you will be provided with a release form to sign indicating that this is acceptable. The signed form should be brought by the applicant at the start of the activity.


About Software Cornwall

Software Cornwall is an open and collaborative group of Software Development enterprises, education providers and business support organisations based in Cornwall working together to grow the software engineering sector in Cornwall. Software Cornwall Ltd is a Not-For-Profit organisation.

A key objective of Software Cornwall is to support young people into careers in software engineering. Recently members have been delighted, but overwhelmed by requests for work experience. Due to the nature of the industry, it is difficult to provide an engaging and hands-on experience placement for students meaning places are in short supply.

To solve this problem companies have decided to collaborate and volunteer their time and developers to help run our Mission to Mars program as a practical and fun experience of working as a software engineer building digital products and solutions.


About Game Changer

The Mission to Mars experience is a part of RIO’s ‘Game Changer’ programme. It supports young people to overcome the complex challenges they face; understand their individual aptitudes, passions and interests; develop skills and experiences; build connectivity and networks, resulting in them moving into work or long-term learning.

Find out more about the ‘Game Changer’ programme.


Application Process

To apply for the upcoming mission, please complete the application form below. This should be completed by both the applicant and their parent/guardian. Successful applicants will be notified by Monday 9th October at the latest.

Link to application form