From gaming to developing missile software

“Defence is important and necessary - that has always been my opinion.”

Morten works as a Software Architect on missile systems at Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KONGSBERG).

The solutions he takes part in developing are made to defend values that are important to Norway and our allies. The precision level of the systems is sky high. This helps to ensure that if the missiles needs to be fired, it avoids hitting innocent people.

Right now, his assignment is the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) - a missile integrated on Norway's new F-35 fighter jet. A missile so technological advanced that it can recognize its target, avoid hitting material or infrastructure that is not intended and will self-destruct if it does not find its target.

His interest in KONGSBERG started already during his studies in Narvik, where he took a Bachelor's degree in Satellite Technology. And it was precisely the complexity of the products that caught his attention, when he applied to write his thesis for the for KONGSBERG’s Missile division.

As for several of his colleagues, the interest in software and "code-breaking" started with gaming – an important part of his adolescence and time at school. Although he chose an electronics education, he also participated in a student project where he helped develop software for a cube satellite. The combination that became the gateway to his current job.

“It is both rewarding and interesting to have the opportunity to work with such complex and exciting products, and at the same time be able to work in the cross-section between software and hardware,”

Since he began as a software developer back in 2011, the busy twin dad has accomplished an impressive professional development and career path in the KONGSBERG. Among other things, he has continued his education within Systems Engineering, as a part-time student alongside work.DM Morten Svandal Credit- N.Frilseth-KONGSBERG-6.jpg

“Ever since I started here, I have felt great trust and have been given more responsibility and new challenges - both professionally and personally. It gives me motivation to know that I have the opportunity to influence, that my contribution counts and that the work I do is valued,” he says.

After a few years as a software developer for hardware and sensors, Morten became team leader in charge of developing software for one of the products. He has also led the team that tests and integrates software with hardware, being a recipient of the same product he took part in developing.

In his current position as a software architect, it has been useful and important to take part in various stages of the process and work towards different subject areas, in order to better understand how everything is connected. Understanding the overall picture is his main objective, and getting the requirements for the software to the right level to ensure optimal performance and that everything is connected and well scaled.

“What I like most about working as a software architect is that you need to look at the system as a whole, and to collaborate with several cross-sections like the system group in charge of the overall design, as well as the test and integration groups. It is incredibly rewarding to see how your work contributes to the final product”

The working days are varied, and Morten does not spend much time in front of his desk at the office. Most of the day is spent in meetings and discussions, where he contributes with technical support and expertise related to requirement specifications, making sure that everyone has understood what to develop and within the right framework.

“I find it very rewarding to work in a team. Although we are all responsible for different tasks, we are dependent on cross-functional collaboration to find the best solutions. Moreover, the degree of complexity in our work is substantial, so we are completely dependent on the ability to take advantage of each other's expertise.”

When he started working in the company, Morten appreciated the warm welcome and guidance he got from his mentor and other colleagues. This made the transition from student life to work much easier.

“The professional environment here is sky-high, but luckily we have a low threshold for asking for help or doing something fun together - whether it's at or outside of work.”DM Morten Svandal Credit- N.Frilseth-KONGSBERG.jpg