Turn On Your Future @ Swansea's School of Applied Computing : UWTSD

Archive for July, 2013

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* Congratulations * @AC Graduates 2013

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Graduate Profile: Sion Williams

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What was your undergraduate degree and when did you graduate?

I have a degree in Computer Games Development.

What is your job title and role?

IT Build Manager

Could you briefly describe the organization you work for?

I currently work for one of the fastest growing insurance providers in the UK, based in Exeter.

Did any of your degree modules inspire you or help you in choosing your job?

Interestingly the subject I disliked the most (Software Engineering) ended up being the bread and butter of my daily work.

What modules are most helpful to you in your job?

Build and Release management is an interesting field because it’s not an intensive programming role, be we are often seen as the problem solvers.

Where do you find yourself using the transferable skills that you developed in University?

Because of the architectural complexities behind games development I was often presented with a myriad of different types of problems – the skills I developed throughout the course are all used on a daily basis. In some ways I would even say I had an edge over some other candidates from a computer science background.

Where do you use your specialist skills and abilities?

Whilst I don’t do real-time software development, I do use many of my programming skills, and ability to learn programming languages.

Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?
The build manager is the person responsible for managing the following processes:
-Create baselines from the initial version of software.
-Organize and refine the structure of your software.
-Set up build management projects for testing and staging.
-Set up and maintain process rules and folder templates.
-Collect software changes from developers, then build test areas.
-Run reports to find out features and tasks that are in or not in a build.
-Freeze software at important milestones, such as a customer release.
-Make the latest changes available to developers.
-Delete baselines that are no longer needed.
-Recreate old software releases to identify problems and create fixes.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

Every day offers a new challenge. As I work on most projects in the company, I don’t get stuck doing the same thing constantly. I also have a real opportunity to make software development faster and more reliable. The pay is excellent too (more than a developer).

Any tips for someone wanting to develop a career in your sector?

If you have a passion for software development, but don’t want to cut code every day, then this is the perfect role for you. Work with open source tools, look at how they are built and find out ways to improve it. This will set you off on the right foot for a role in IT build management.

M.Sc. Applied Computing and M.Sc. Computer Networks

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Swansea Metropolitan is a partner in ‘Access to Masters’, a project funded through the European Social Fund in order to increase the number of graduates in Wales with a Masters Level Qualification. Students who live in the Convergence Area of Wales may be eligible to receive funding to cover the cost of tuition fees as well as providing a bursary of up to £5695.

We at the School of Applied Computing, Swansea Metropolitan are currently recruiting for the M.Sc. Applied Computing and M.Sc. Computer Networks courses and have been allocated a limited number of funded masters places though the ATM Scheme. The philosophy that underpins the M.Sc. courses at Swansea Metropolitan is that they relate to the school’s vocational nature and have been designed to enhance a graduate’s employability.  They focus on the practical application of theory whilst maintaining academic rigour. This makes the programmes distinct when compared with more traditional computing M.Sc. programmes.

The M.Sc. Applied Computing has a distinctive flavour providing a mixture of databases, computer programming, systems analysis and project management. These skills are in great demand in the modern IT industry and our graduates will, we believe, fill many of the ‘hard to fill vacancies’ that are reported by the computer industry generally.

Any questions regarding the course content should be directed to the course director Glenn Jenkins (glenn.l.jenkins@smu.ac.uk).  For more details regarding the ATM funding please contact Nicola Powell (nicola.powell@smu.ac.uk).

The newly updated MSc Computer Networks offers mixture of routing and switching, emerging network technologies, high performance computing, network security, and project management. The programme includes material required for the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) qualification. The networking industry requires staff with these skills to fill many vacancies.   Any questions regarding the course content should be directed to the course director Kapilan Radhakrishman (kapilan.radhakrishman@smu.ac.uk). For more details regarding the ATM funding please contact Nicola Powell (nicola.powell@smu.ac.uk).

This project has been part-funded by the EU’s Convergence European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

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Career Opportunities in Computing

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The illustration above from an article written by Nell Edgington titled ‘Teaching Our Kids to Build the Computers of the Future‘  clearly shows the number of Computer job opportunities far exceeds the number of Graduates required to fill them. Nell goes onto to state that:

“we are facing an enormous shortage of people who can create the technology we desperately need… Projections estimate that by 2020 we will need 1.4 million computer programmers, but will only have 400,000 computer science graduates, creating a 1 million person gap.”

Similarly in an article for the Guardian Josh Cooke echoes this sentiment “As every aspect of business and commerce becomes ever more reliant on computing, the demand for technologically minded individuals is increasing at a huge rate. This is great for current computer science students such as myself, as we’re entering the industry at a very exciting and lucrative time.”

In an article for Network World titled ‘Want a job? Get a computer science degree‘ written by Carolyn Duffy Marsan, Professor Lenny Pitt, Director of Undergraduate Programs for the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois says

“Everybody is realizing that IT is going to be important in the marketplace, and they are looking to beef up their resumes with some kind of certificate or qualification that would give them an edge… Parents may well be aware of the job opportunities in the IT industry, which is suffering the least despite the downturn.”

For more information about Careers & Courses in Computing at Swansea Metropolitan please click-here.

Computing for Schools: Cwrt Sart

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The School of Applied Computing would like to thank Teacher Chris Rees and all the Pupils from Cwrt Sart Community Comprehensive School for visiting the School today for a Higher Education Computing Taster session. Led by Kevin Palmer and supported by Tim Bashford, Stephen Hole and James Williams (members of the School’s Lecturing Team) Pupils from Cwrt Sart enjoyed using a Visual Programming Environment to create a Game Application.

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Congratulations to ALL the students who attended and demonstrated some very good Programming and Game development skills, Well done. We hope you enjoyed your day at the University.

For more information about Courses for Teachers in Applied Computing and Applied Computing Taster sessions for pupils please contact James Williams via e-mail: james.williams@smu.ac.uk.

Congratulations to Swansea Met Computer Society

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Congratulations to the Swansea Met CS Computer Society for being Awarded the Best New Society at the SU Awards. Jen Ada pictured above (right) receiving the Award for the Computer Society provided an overview of the Societies successful year:

“This year has been a successful first year for the computer society. The SOAC staff have really participated and got involved with students. We started off the year building a Beowulf Cluster with Tim Bashford and Glenn Jenkins, and Nik Whitehead organised a robotics tournament. We also took a trip down to Swansea University to see Bjarne Stroustrop with Glenn. We attended hacker workshops and flash-talks with SUCS. Volunteered with open days and workshops. We’ve built robots, thrown parties, seen hackers and parents of languages, soldered things, burnt things and broken things, Kept It Simple Free and Open Source. But best of all, we’ve found a great group of friends who don’t suffer from buffer overflows.”

The Team at the School of Applied Computing S@AC would like to thank all members of the Computer Society for their help support and significant contribution this year for making the School a great place to enjoy Higher Education.

The Swansea Met SU Awards event focused on celebrating and thanking all staff and students who have gone above and beyond to develop student life at Swansea Metropolitan.

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