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

Archive for February, 2014

Industry Guest Speakers: Grant Armstrong & Sion Williams

Two of our Graduates Grant Armstrong and Sion Williams return to the School on Friday to talk about their Careers to date including how they got their first jobs which will be very useful for our current students.

  1. At 11am Grant Armstrong will be talking about his experiences as a software developer working for both Acentic (Hotel TV and hospitality technology) and Aria Networks (Network capacity management software).
  1. At 3pm Sion Williams will be talking about his work as a build and release engineer working at both the Office of National Statistics and Liverpool Victoria.

The talks will include some biographical material about how the students got their first jobs and also included will be information about interesting/upcoming technologies they thing graduates should be aware of and tips for those entering the industry.

If you are interested please feel free to come along to the School of Applied Computing this Friday 28th February at 11am, room MH303, Mount Pleasant Campus, Swansea.

HOMEPAGE1Acentic are global leaders in hotel TV and hospitality technology, operating in more than 40 countries. Acentic is an  integrator of technologies that connect, engage and entertain. Acentic’s range of products include Acentic Smart – future ready Smart TV solution,  Acentic Media advertising, hotel mobile applications, digital interactive television (iTV) and high definition TV platforms (HD TV).

Aria_Networks_company_logoAria’s core technology is called DANI (Distributed Artificial Neural Intelligence) which is a self-learning and evolutionary modelling software suite that can automatically build and execute algorithms on a distributed computing architecture. Aria Networks provides set of solutions to service providers such as capacity planning and management to help service providers achieving the maximum utilisation of their networks.LV_Liverpool_VictoriaLV= Liverpool Victoria serves over five million customers with a wide range of financial services including car, home and life insurance plus investment and retirement products. LV= is also is the UK’s largest friendly society.

Office_for_National_Statistics_logo
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is charged with the collection and publication of statistics related to the economy, population and society of England and Wales at national, regional and local levels.

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What do you do if your spacecraft doesn’t respond? by Karlie Yeung

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Karlie Yeung from Rhea Systems is giving a talk at the School of Applied Computing this Wednesday February 26th at 2pm in room MH303.

The talk is titled: What do you do if your spacecraft doesn’t respond?

Karlie Yeung works for Rhea Systems supporting the software used to manage communications between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the recently-launched GAIA  spacecraft. She’ll be talking about life working in scientific and research computing as an alternative to working within the commercial sector.

RHEA is an independent Space Engineering Consulting and Software company that offers knowledge-based services and innovative solutions to the space industry. (1)

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, with 20 member states. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, France, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000 with an annual budget of about €4.28 billion / US$5.51 billion (2013). (2)

Gaia is an ambitious mission to chart a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, in the process revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the Galaxy. (3)

ESA_LOGO

Karlie has been working at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) for four years on software to support mission operations. This has given Karlie experience working with the satellite flight control teams on all phases of the missions from launch preparation to decommissioning. She currently works on the Manufacturing and Operations Information System (MOIS) software suite used for operations preparation and satellite control automation.

If you would like to join us for Karlie’s fascinating talk please come along to the  School of Applied Computing this Wednesday February 26th at 2pm, room MH303, Mount Pleasant Campus, Swansea.

‘Exo Minor’ & ‘Happy Rainbow Bird’ by ChaosTrend

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Founded by one of our School’s Enterprising Graduates Darren Adams, Swansea-based Games Development Studio Chaos-Trend are proud to announce their new game “Exo Miner” on Steam Greenlight. Exo Miner is a procedurally generated, action based mining, exploration, construction and defence game.

Travel to unexplored sectors of space, claim new sectors for mining, set up defences, buy new ships and drones then customise them to fit your play style. Define patrol routes for protection or attack claimed sectors. Defend your own sectors from rival companies and leave your mark by building the biggest space mining corporation in the galaxy. Can you build a corporation to rival the mighty Europa Mining Company?

Watch this space: They are currently busily developing Exo Miner and some of the content is not yet final. They will be updating this page as often as possible with new info and content. 

Chaos-Trend have also recently released a new game titled ‘Happy Rainbow Bird‘ 🙂

Flap those wings, gain some height and use your skill and judgement to get the highest score you can as you Guide your birdie through the many pillars of doom.

Happy-Bird-x

The Game is available Now on Google Play and iTunes.

Chaos-Trend are a small but well established Games development studio in Swansea, Wales. They have been running for over 5 years and have successfully released many games across many platforms. The core team consists of Graduates from Swansea Metropolitan – University of Wales Trinity Saint David that have obtained degrees in game programming and design. The founder members of ChaosTrend are: Darren Adams, Russell Drodge, John Franklin, and Ian Malsbury. There are now five in the Team, one being a former Creative Assembly programmer who worked on the award winning Total War series. They have written their our own game engine and tools from the ground up, and love to dream-up and create new and exciting games. For more information please click here.

Upcoming Events @ TechHub Swansea

This half-day workshop provides an overview of User Experience and why it is an important consideration in the development of products, systems and applications. A series of presentations outline real-world implementations and case-studies by leading internationally renowned User Experience experts.

Join us at TechHub Swansea for a workshop on Growth hacking with founder of True Up, Liam Reynolds (trueup.co.uk)

Start Up Business Support and Pizza! Join regional sponsor of TechHub Swansea for an afternoon of business support and pizza, get practical support and guidance, FREE, for all members.

TechHub Swansea have gone all roaring ’20s and are thrilled to invite you to our exclusive prohibition party. …it’s a strictly need to know event, so ‘speak-easy’!

Have you heard of the Raspberry Pi computer? Do you want to know more and see what others are doing with this amazing low cost device? Come along to the Swansea Raspberry Jam event and meet other Raspberry Pi users

As a start-up you need to plan for future and your future success. Getting your website found online by the right people is a huge part of modern-day marketing and being listed for the correct keywords by the search engines is essential.

The Welsh Government Creative Industries team is busy doing a series of regional briefing events across Wales. The events are a brief presentation on the support available from the Welsh Government to creative sector businesses and a plenary, followed by the opportunity of 1:1 half hour slots with Welsh Government Business

Growing and Organising your Engineering Team Advice Clinic

Computing Student Archie Watt @ Google TC Summit

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Name & Course: Archie Watt (2nd from the left above) Graduated with a HND in Computer Networks in 2013, now on final year of B.Sc. (Hons) Computer Networks, tells us about his time at Google’s

Background / introduction: I originally went to Google’s Webmaster Forum (about four years ago now) to ask a few questions of my own.  In doing so, I came across some questions asked by other webmasters that I was able to answer, so I decided to stick around after participating a bit.  Since then I’ve learned a huge amount from the forum (and still do every day) which enables me to answer a wider range of questions.  After a couple of years participating, I was asked to join the Top Contributor (TC) programme, and then earlier this year was invited to the TC Summit in California.

Archiewatt-bridge

When/how long for: the summit took place between 30th September & 3rd October.

The TC Summit is a biannual event hosted in California, where Google invite all TCs from around the world to thank them for the support they provide to their users.  Over the course of three days, TCs were able to meet various Google engineers and product managers for a series of workshops and the opportunity to provide direct feedback, as well as see demos of new products (such as Google Glass).

The Experience: I really enjoy participating in the forum, not only because I learnt so much from there, but also because it’s always motivating when people thank you for fixing problems and giving advice.  The summit was great as I was able to meet a lot of fellow TCs and Google employees who I’d previously only known online.

Skills Gained: the webmaster forum receives questions on an extensive range of topics, so you can gain skills in a lot of areas by participating there, such as accessibility, usability, content management, malware & keeping your website safe from hackers, information architecture, server management, dealing with search engine penalties, best practices for building international websites, getting sensitive content removed from search results, and more.  Since Google’s search algorithms are constantly updating, it’s also a good place to keep up to speed on the latest developments and trends.  The summit also offered the opportunity to learn new skills and build upon existing ones.

The TC Programme:  Currently, the TC programme consists of nearly 600 people around the world, and covers 26 different languages.  Collectively, the TCs contribute close to a million posts to Google’s help forums every year. Google’s Top Contributors (TCs) are the front line of support in Google’s help forums.  TCs are hand-picked by Google staff for demonstrating expertise in a particular area or for a particular product (such as webmaster support or Gmail).

The Webmaster Central forum: specializes in troubleshooting technical issues with websites, which can include usability, website security & cleaning hacked sites, problems getting indexed and/or ranked in search results, using Google Webmaster Tools, removing content from search results, and more.  Since Google’s search algorithms are opaque and highly dynamic (hundreds of changes every year), most of the facts are unknown to outsiders, so helping users in the webmaster forum is a unique challenge when compared to other Google forums, since the people helping here are not supporting a product with clear help documentation, all they have to work from is their own professional experience.

To learn more about the summit, check out the post about the event on the official Google blog.  You can learn more about the TC programme in general here.

Graduate Profile: Thomas John

Thomas-John

What was your HE course/s and when did you graduate?
I studied the HND Computing and Information Systems course, and after graduating from the course, I enrolled on to the 3rd year of the BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Systems course before graduating with a 2:1 Degree.

What is your job title and role?
I am a Software Tester for a company called Dezrez Services Ltd which is based in Swansea.

Could you briefly describe the organization you work for?
Dezrez Services Ltd provides Software Services for Estate Agencies to help the Estate Agencies deal with Sales, Lettings, and also Property Management. The company also offers Support for the Software.  A few products that Dezrez have include:

  • Dezrez PM (Property Management)
  • iPad Valuation App
  • Website in a Box
  • Template Designs
  • Mobile Dezrez

Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job?
After graduating from University, some skills have really helped me in my role. With the Assignments and the Final Year Project deadlines, I have learnt how to meet deadlines of Testing Tasks, Testing Activities and Sprints. This has really helped me deal with Testing Tasks and Testing Activities that are set for me. Also my Final Year Project has helped me as I understand the need for Usability within a Software program and how important it is for the Software and for the User.

Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?
My day would normally involve testing the Property Management software package that Dezrez have developed. I would use TFS (Team Foundation Server) to look at a Task Board to see what Testing Tasks I have been assigned to Test and then I would record any Issues (Functionality, Usability, Compatibility, Design, Spelling/Grammar) or Feature Suggestions in TFS and the Dezrez CRM System.  When a release is performed for new functionality and fixes to go up live, I would perform a Test Plan to make sure that functionality already in place has not been affected by the new functionality.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?
I enjoy the challenge of helping the company find issues within the software, helping the company release the software, and that it is suitable and ready for release. I also enjoy working for the company and learning new techniques for testing the products that the company provides.

Do you have any advice for students who are currently studying their HE course?
I would say when an assignment is handed out, start on it as soon as possible. Use the resources that the University provides (library etc.) and the time in which there are no Lectures or Tutorials wisely to do research for assignments, and also take the opportunity to learn some exam preparation techniques. Also if doing a Final Year Project, I would start the Project as soon as you can as I completed my Literature Review at the start of January and that gave me time to make amendments to the sections and also start the Implementation stage early which was really helpful.

In a summary please write a little statement that explains the positive aspects of your experience at University and whether you would recommend it to anyone in the future:
When starting at University, I was a little nervous with the change from College. But the University, the Support, Friends and also the Lecturers made me feel comfortable after a few weeks, I settled in great and worked hard to gain my HND. After gaining the HND, I realised that I wanted to do further education and decided to enrol on the 3rd year of the BSc Degree and it was the best decision I have made. I have made some great friends through my 3 years at the University, and I have also developed myself further as a person through the experience. I recommend the University highly as it a great place to study and I have learnt so much there.

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