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

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Graduate Profile: Nathan Dickinson

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Q. What is your Name? Nathan Dickinson 

Q. What was your University course? B.Sc. (Hons) Computing & Information Systems

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Q. What is your job title and role? My current job title is Product technical lead for the vDoc product of the Vizolution product suite.

Q. What does the role involve? This role involves me being the de-facto technical expert in all aspects of the vDoc product production with the overall goal being to align multiple development teams to delivery and fulfil customer requirements. Daily duties include attending stand-ups, providing estimates for new functionality, ensuring coding standards and providing technical leadership to development teams and steer and provide technical design and architecture for requirements. Also heavily involved in product support and deployments to ensure smooth roll-out and running of the product on a daily basis.

vDoc is an unassisted document sharing solution that allows customers to seamlessly progress their own customer journey through the upload, download or electronic signature of documents via a secure customer portal.
http://www.vizolution.co.uk/solutions/vdoc/

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? Vizolution is a CX Tech company focused on streamlining difficult customer journeys. The Vizolution suite of digital products streamlines the end-to-end customer journey and supports the omni-channel strategy of our customers across branch, telephony and digital channels. It’s SaaS products are quick and easy to implement. The solutions eliminate breaks in the customer journey to deliver improved compliance, customer service and satisfaction and conversions as well as reduced costs.

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 Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? Confidence and self-belief, the environment in the university was very open and students were encouraged to interact as much as possible, feedback was always constructive and lecturers often pushed to get the best from me. This really helped with my self-belief and confidence allowing me to step out of my comfort zone and push my self and my abilities. It is this I believe has allowed me to progress to where I am today.


Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?
My days vary quite a lot but usually start with attending stand-ups for the development teams of which there are five that work on the vDoc product. I am then usually attending meetings to either provide high level estimation and technical implementation guidance/design for new functionality. Performing code reviews to ensure code is of a suitable standard and follows our defined coding standards. Assisting other developers with issues or problems and providing technical guidance. Occasionally I have the chance to develop some functionality myself but I am mostly in a hands off type of role now.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?
It would have the be the problem solving, quite often I am faced with complex issues to which I need to provide technical guidance for, whilst this can be challenging and frustrating at times. The sense of achievement when something you’ve planned turns out how you expected it to or sometimes even better it makes it all worth it. My position can be quite stressful but its taking these small wins and seeing the impact our technology is having is what keeps me motivated

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? Prepare early, there are going to be hundreds of graduates across the UK in your sector all looking for jobs, be proactive and get your foot in the door first. Look for summer placement work, try and reach out to places where you would like to work to see if they have any openings or what opportunities they have for graduates. Most important be persistent and be strong minded, there will be times where you will be turned down at interview, instead of taking that negatively look for the positives and look for areas to improve and come back stronger. You’ve done the hard work in getting into university and taking your degree so you deserve a good career so just remember that.

You’ve done the hard work in getting into university and taking your degree so you deserve a good career so just remember that.

Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University? One of the most challenging but at the same time rewarding experiences of my life.

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Faculty Lunchtime Research Seminar (November 2018)

In today’s Faculty Lunchtime Research Seminar, Mr Kelvin Lake from the School of Engineering told us about his research into the design of composites. This was applied in particular to the design of snowboards and kiteboards. For more detail, please see Moodle. Thank you very much to Kelvin for sharing his research with us and our best wishes for your PhD viva coming up in 2019.

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Global Enterprise Week – Tech Talks

This year to Celebrate ‘Global Enterprise Week‘ the School of Applied Computing hosted two Tech talks and welcomed Robert James (Digital Architect @ the DVLA) and Mathew Marl (Head of IS @ UWTSD).

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Robert James & Mathew Marl

Mathew’s talk on Agile Development & Innovation provided real world insight into how interdisciplinary software development teams work together to build and evolve solutions to meet stakeholder requirements in the fast changing world of technological development and change.

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Mathew Marl – Agile Development

“I had a great afternoon engaging with the FACE students, who were a welcoming bunch, and got fully involved with both presentations. It was an uplifting couple of hours which gave me a lot of heart for the future. Thanks to James for the invite.” – Mathew Marl

Rob’s talk showed we are living the future of our child hood dreams and emerging technologies current impact and potential future impact on the DVLA’s services. His talk encapsulated the technological change we have seen over the last 20 years and provided snapshots of how we will be using technology 20 years from now.

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Robert James – Emerging Technologies

“It was great to see how engaged the students were, I had some brilliant questions and good discussion about how technology will influence the way we interact and consume services in the future and of course the security issues and ethical considerations society would need to solve.” – Robert James

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James Matt & Rob

Our students enjoyed and gained valuable up-to-date knowledge & industry insights from both talks, increasing their employability, professional development and preparing them for exciting careers in a rapidly evolving world.

The School would like to sincerely thank both Mathew and Robert for sharing their industry knowledge and expertise with our students. Diolch yn fawr iawn – James.

Evacuation of wheelchair users in emergency situations

We are pleased to tell you that we have brought our emergency evacuation equipment with us to the UWTSD SA1 Waterfront campus. The “stair crawler” is designed to evacuate wheelchair users in case of emergency. This is particularly important when the wheelchair user cannot be carried down the stairs – due to the chair being a life-support system in itself – and, of course, to preserve dignity.

One of our lecturers, Dr Tim Bashford, learned how it felt to be ‘evacuated’ today while training staff to use the equipment.

Here is the stair crawler (kept on charge when not in use):

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…and the stair crawler in action:

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Faculty Lunchtime Research Seminar (October 2018)

We have brought our popular Faculty Lunchtime Research Seminars with us to the SA1 campus. These seminars are to help share research happening in the Faculty, and hopefully encourage future collaborations. All are welcome, from inside or outside the Faculty, staff or student.

This month, Professor Kelvin Donne told us about his research which has included the following:

  • Ballistics impact of projectiles onto automotive glass.
  • Computational modelling of light-tissue interaction.
  • Non-destructive testing of composite materials
  • Usability analysis in product engineering research

Here’s Kelvin in action:

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If you missed the talk, and would like to catch up with what Kelvin said, the video is available on Moodle. If you cannot see “Faculty Lunchtime Research Seminars” on Moodle, comment below and Gaynor will add you.

Graduate Talks inspire UWTSD Computing students

Every year it is lovely to receive messages from Graduates who would like to return to the School to give something back. These Graduates are doing well, they have established successful Careers and volunteer to come back to the School to talk with our students. Often they themselves were inspired and given employment opportunities by other Graduate talks during their time with us at the University. Our graduates work in countries all over the world, have exciting careers and fantastic lifestyles. There are a lot of opportunities in the field of Computing & Technology, globally and locally – more than ever before.

Today we welcomed back one of our Computing Graduates Nathan Dickinson (Product Technical lead at Vizolution) to share hints & tips for Uni and Career success along with his colleague Simone Cuomo who spoke about exciting career opportunities for our Graduates.

Nathan completed his Computing degree with us in 2012 before starting his Career as a Software Developer with the NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS), he quickly became a Senior Software Developer with NWIS 2014 before starting as a Senior Developer with Vizolution in 2016. Nathan quickly went on to become a Lead Developer with Vizolution and a Product Technical Lead in 2017.

To encourage students Nathan says “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are lucky, you have worked hard and deserve your place here at Uni” … “In the words of Buzz light-year ‘To Infinity and Beyond!’ dare to dream and never give up, if you set you mind to it you can do it!”.

Vizolution is an exciting 21st Century Tech company based in Swansea that provides excellent benefits and a great place to work. Vizolution is a Saas Company and started in 2012. Grown from 5 staff members to over 130 staff worldwide with offices in Swansea, Bristol, London, North America and Canada (105 based in the new Swansea office). Ranked by Deloitte as on of the EMEA’s fastest growing tech companies with 31 enterprise clients (87% financial services, 10% telecoms, 3% utililes), with 4 products live in 13 countries and in 8 languages. They have a New Swansea office (located in Bay studios – Fabian way with 12,500 ft office space with 160 desks, Open plan, Break out area with ping-pong table, arcade and table football. With free fruit and yoga it is a True 21st Century Tech Company.

We also welcome PhD student Mathew Hunt one of our Electronics Graduates who shared wise words and many valuable hints & tips for success at Uni and Post Graduate opportunities within the school.

Congratulations and thank you to Nathan, Simone, Mathew and all the staff at the Dylan Thomas Centre Swansea for making this event possible and allowing our students to gain such valuable and inspiring knowledge. Diolch.

2nd in the UK!

We are delighted to have been ranked second in the UK for “student satisfaction in teaching quality in Computer Science” and also second in the UK for “satisfaction with the student experience in Computer Science”

Congratulations to our staff and thank you to our students for their support!

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New academic year 2018/9

A warm welcome to all our new students who arrived on campus for the first time yesterday, and a warm welcome back to our continuing students who will be back later this week.

The SA1 Waterfront campus is new to all of us this year, so we are spending our induction week giving tours of the campus to help student find their way around our new home.

We also went bowling with our new students to help them to get to know each other.

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New campus in SA1

We have been very busy all summer moving to our new campus in SA1! The new teaching building, known as the IQ building, is currently being prepared for the new academic year which commences on Monday 24th September 2018.

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Opposite the main teaching area is the new library, known as The Forum. Here is a picture from inside The Forum, facing the main IQ building.

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Quite a change from our old campus at Mount Pleasant! Looking forward to seeing students, staff and alumni there very soon.

Graduate Profile: Ross Thomas

Q. What is your Name? Ross Thomas

Q. What was your University course? BSc (Hons) Business Information Technology

Q. What is your job title and role? I am a junior developer and my role is configuring the companies scripts to match all different client needs.

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? The organisation I work for CloudIQ is a Tech Start-up company that was created around 2012, we want our clients to make the most of their e-commerce website by re-marketing old ones and marketing new ones.

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? I feel the main ones would be business awareness – this was important on adapting to a different situations you may be faced with and being aware of how it’s impacting the business and environment you are in. Another skill that I feel is of high value to me is analytical thinking, this has helped me so much when being faced with a problem or when my code isn’t working, it is having to think of different ways and think out of the box to solve it.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? Every day is different, but will have a similar feel to it, mostly I am writing or editing code to meet the clients needs but I could also be investigating the code and working with the team to try and fix the issues we have.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? I enjoy working with the people I work with, but more so I enjoy learning and overcoming the different situations where I may have struggled for a while. I get a real sense of achievement when something works after trying to figure it out for ages.

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? Be patient and don’t be afraid of changes, if you are unhappy with your working life change it.

Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University? Challenging but worth it – I’d do it all again!.

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