Improbable Defence

New to defence? Seven things we learned coming into the sector

Libby Penn, Chief Operating Officer

Changing industries is not uncommon in the tech space. Many of us have worked in different areas whether that’s gaming, finance, health, sports, media. I myself have worked across tech companies in HR tech, fintech, augmented reality, even tech for theatre professionals. 

I hadn’t worked in defence previously but I’d made a conscious choice in my career that it was an industry I was keen to explore after witnessing the investment the Chinese government had been making in using facial recognition technology as a method of policing.

I was slightly nervous about moving into defence – I knew little about how defence worked, the security requirements, the cultural differences. For those considering moving over, I thought I’d talk to the team so we could share our experience of moving into this sector. Here’s what I gleaned.

This is a space where there’s no such thing as a stupid question. 

Perhaps because the stakes working in defence have real world consequences, people are incredibly approachable and humble when it comes to ensuring you have the information you need.

You can make an immediate impact as soon as you walk through the door.

We’re a technology business underneath the title, working on ground breaking ‘stuff’; imagine the use cases to help people, business, cross-nation decision making, preparedness for pandemics. Our diverse workforce means you’re learning from people with a very different professional experience set to yourself, which encourages reflection and makes you a more rounded professional – and person.

Defence doesn’t have to mean bombs and weapons.

It’s a repeated theme that comes up when we speak to external candidates and a common misconception. Instead, we’re helping the defence sector analyse data to make smarter, quicker decisions about an array of things from logistics to comms.

From an engineering perspective, there’s a tonne of unique problems and challenges that need solving.

I’ve worked in a lot of different industries, yet I came back to defence due to the problem solving it provides. You’re attempting to do something that a lot of the time has never been done before in a certain context.

It’s intense – but purposeful.

Coming face-to-face with some of today’s most pressing national security and resilience challenges can be daunting – but it’s also hugely rewarding. It may sound cliché, but every single bit of work we do goes some way towards upholding the values we hold dear as a society. Our efforts are meaningful – and we mean it.

Defence has always been a leader of innovation.

Duct tape, superglue, even microwave ovens: all of these things that are part of our daily lives were originally invented for military purposes. Many more like EpiPens, GPS and the internet also have their origins in defence. The defence industry has always been a driver of technological progress, and working together with industry, academia and Armed Forces means spearheading innovation and pushing the boundaries of knowledge.

Armed Forces are a fantastic partner.

Adaptation is a key to survival. At Improbable, I’ve found that we’re a part of a transformative change. Our platform approach has been appreciated by MOD and is opening up new avenues for software solutions to be created at a much faster pace, ensuring the ever growing and evolving threats in the digital age we live in can be neutralised as quickly as they appear.

Join Improbable Defence and you’ll be helping users plan and train to meet the world’s most complex security threats. If your ambitions are high, we’ll give you the tools, support and culture to take them even higher.

Check out our open roles to find your perfect fit.