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

Posts tagged ‘Computer Networks’

Virgin Graduate scheme : Lewis Meehan

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UWTSD Computing Graduate Lewis Meehan tells us about his exciting new future at Virgin Media:

Q. What was your HE course?

A: BSc Computer Networks

Q. What is your job title and role?

A: Systems Integration Graduate

Q. Could you briefly describe the organization you work for?

A: Virgin Media – Data Services, owned by Liberty Global – the largest telecommunications company in the world.

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job?

A: Independent working/research and also the broad range of industry specific knowledge.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?

A: Every day is different. Some days I’ll be in my local office working furthering my HE studies towards certification [Cisco certifications: CCNA+CCNP+CCNA Specialisation+CCNP Specialisation], alongside providing standardised connection packages to small-medium businesses and assisting on larger  project based work for bespoke networking solutions. Other days I’ll be at a clients site and some might even be spent in hotels going segwaying, raft building or even just days out with the other Virgin Media graduates.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

A: Working with some awesome and expensive technology, which changes from day to day. Also the responsibility I’ve been giving from the start, Virgin Media put a lot of trust in their employees which creates a really nice environment to work in.

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career?

A: Make University a friendly competition; it’ll help both you and other people on your course at the end of it.

> For more information about Graduate positions at Virgin please click-here.

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Taster: Computer Network Security for Gower College students

Gower college students from Gorseinon campus visited School of Applied Computing on 1st Dec 2014 for a tailor made taster session on Computer Networks.

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Dr Stephen Hole, Head of School (second from the right) welcomed the students and staff on their arrival. The taster session was organised by Dr Kapilan Radhakrishnan (far left) and Dr Carlene Campbell far right) and was designed to give the students an idea of what is involved in the HN/BSc Computer Networks Programme. Kapilan started the session and the students were given details of the advantages of studying computer networking, job prospects in the field, and additional professional qualifications that they can achieve to enhance their Career prospects whilst studying within the School without any extra cost. Later, Carlene took over and gave the students hands-on experience setting-up security on a network and white-hat hacking. The students really enjoyed the session and gave a lot of positive feedback.

Publishing Success: Archie Watt

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Congratulations to final year student Archie Watt from the B.Sc.(Hons) Computer Networks degree who has successfully published a journal article in the University’s journal of undergraduate research. The main focus of the paper is on security policies for a BYOD network, and the additional challenges that can be faced when developing a security policy for such a network. From the Abstract:

 The paper emphasizes the importance of security policies and also studies some of the main factors that can hinder their effectiveness, including insufficient security training for employees.   Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is also examined in detail, including the various advantages and disadvantages that it can bring to an organization supporting it, and the various factors, such as advances in wireless network technologies and the greatly increased use of mobile computing devices, such as tablets and smartphones, that have led to its growth over the last few years.

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“The aim of publication  is to promote research at undergraduate level and showcase achievements of all undergraduates across all levels and disciplines of the University. … The journal offers an opportunity for all undergraduates to publish work from all Schools. As a multidisciplinary journal currently it is one of only a few in the UK and the only one in Wales.”  (ref)

Archie I was also invited and visited Google’s TC Summit in California earlier this year and was asked to join the Top Contributor (TC) programme.

Masters Students 2014

Pics of the MSc Applied Computing and MSc Computer Networks students showcasing their Major Project Posters. Please click-here for more information.

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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.

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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.

Watch this Space: Exciting New Courses

The Team at the School of Applied Computing have been busy updating all existing courses and writing a lot of exciting new ones*. The School’s undergraduate portfolio is being greatly extended with 7 new courses:

  • Applied Computing
  • *Business Computing
  • Business Information Technology
  • *Cloud Computing
  • Computing and Information Systems
  • Computer Games Development
  • *Computer Graphics & Visualisation
  • Computer Networks
  • Computer Systems & Electronics
  • Electrical & Electronic Engineering
  • *GIS & Environmental Conservation
  • *Mobile Computing & Application Development
  • *Robotics & Intelligent Systems
  • Software Engineering
  • Web Development
  • *Wireless Communication Systems

WATCH THIS SPACE ;-). For more information please click-here.

* Subject to validation.

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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Graduate Profile: Michael R Owen

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What was your HE course and when did you graduate? 

BSc (HONS) Computer Networks in 2012

 What is your job title and role?

Telecommunications engineer.

My role at Swansea IT Group is to provide support for the organizations many clients, ranging from network troubleshooting/advice, configuring Linux servers, training clients to use the PBX system, and general support.

 Could you briefly describe the organization you work for?

The organization provides a range of IT solutions (VoIP, web design, network design, consultancy, and system administration). For the VoIP system they use Asterisk on a Linux server incorporating an open source platform called Vicidial.

Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job?

I have learned a number of skills after graduating from University. By sticking to assignment deadlines and the final year project, I learnt how to effectively prioritize my workload. This has helped in my role, as I may be given a number of support tickets each day ranging from simple fixes to more advanced troubleshooting. Which all need to be prioritized based on the difficulty or the alert level of the ticket.

My course helped me develop my troubleshooting skills by understanding the fundamentals of computer networks, such as the OSI model. With a good understanding of the OSI model you can quickly judge what can be causing an issue, by narrowing down the problem to a specific layer.  With this way of thinking you can easily resolve problems which are not networking related.

Using the Cisco equipment to build networks for assignments quickly helps you build up your troubleshooting abilities as you can make mistakes that you would not normally make or see when using a network simulator.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

My favourite aspect of the job is configuring networks and providing network consultancy to new and current clients. Whether it be how they should design their network, to suggesting VPNs, and general troubleshooting to provide a stable and secure network.

If you could give advice to current students what would it be?

If you’re ending your second year I would suggest making a start on your final year project, as I completed my literary review in January, it provided me with plenty of time to spend on the implementation and troubleshooting of my final year project. This in turn, gave me more flexibility for completing assignments and plenty of time for exam revision.

I would advise any networking students to complete their CCNA studies before the final year, as the final year can be heavy in work load with the final year project, assignments and exams.

The CCNA is a valuable certification to gain, as it will help you stand out from those who do not have the certification when applying for networking/IT support related jobs. If you are interesting in taking on a networking role, there are plenty of other Cisco certifications other than the routing and switching path, which may interest you.

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