“A stepping stone to engineering.”
“A stepping stone to engineering.”
Q. What is your Name? Matthew Rhys Meader.
Q. What University course/s did you study? BSc (Hons) Computing & Information Systems (1st Class)
Q. What is your job title and role? As a Senior Software Developer, it is my role to engage in all phases of the software development lifecycle that include the analysis, design, development and support of nationally used clinical systems used within NHS Wales. It is also my role to mentor new staff with less clinical and technical knowledge and expertise.
Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? I work for the NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS); we supply over seventy software services to users across NHS Wales and to other parts of the United Kingdom. We support doctors, nurses and other clinical professionals, helping them provide specialist care to patients in hospitals, GP practices and across the community.
My team in particular are responsible for updating, maintaining and creating new modules for the Welsh Patient Administration System (WPAS). This system records details of patient’s hospital visits, including waiting list management, medical records, inpatient treatment, outpatient appointments and emergency visits.
Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? The most prevalent skill I gained whilst at University was the ability to write clean code and learn new languages as and when required. Other skills I learned that were helpful include:
• Project Management.
• Software Development Methodologies (Agile etc…)
• Usability Engineering & UX Design.
• Web Design.
Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? My typical day usually starts at 0800 with me planning the day ahead by checking emails and the Team Foundation Server (TFS) to ensure that all work tasks are on schedule and prioritised correctly. We hold daily SCRUM meetings to divide workloads amongst the team and to effectively help those struggling on certain tasks. Throughout the day, the team (Including myself) work on agreed tasks, but sometimes we have to fix bugs identified by users. This usually comes through from the helpdesk, though we do have to call users to gain an insight into the bug before creating a fix. Once a fix is completed and checked into Source Control, tests are conducted against the Systems Requirements Specification (SRS) document as well as a pre-defined Test Plan that the developer creates at the start of each task. The job at times can be unpredictable and requires focus and efficiency.
Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? I enjoy problem solving, especially when it takes a long time to solve and it gives me great joy when a piece of work that I have developed is released LIVE with the knowledge that it is being used in hospitals across Wales.
Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? If you wish to start a career straight from University, then I suggest looking for jobs half way through your third year, this will give you scope as to what is out there. Also, look out for Graduate schemes in workplaces, these will give you the experience you need and can help you progress in that organisation. Also to Quote Vincent, van Gogh:
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
Think about this as you start each assignment and think what grade you wish to achieve at the end goal ‘Graduation’. Also, remember to ask questions.
Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University?
“Teachers/Lecturers open doors, but you must walk through them yourself. “
I loved my time at university; it gave me perspective into my capabilities and motivated me more than I ever was in school. The lecturers were extremely helpful and I urge students to talk to them whenever they can.
For more information about Computing courses and opportunities at UWTSD please click here.
Q. What is your Name? Nathan Dickinson
Q. What was your University course? B.Sc. (Hons) Computing & Information Systems
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.
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.
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.
Students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s School of Applied Computing recently participated in the TECHSTARS Competition and presented their enterprising and innovative ideas to a panel of expert judges (below) at Swansea’s Tech Hub.
TECHSTARS 2018 Competition was organised by UWTSD Senior Lecturer James Williams who teaches the School’s Enterprise and Innovation module. The Competition enables students within the School of Applied Computing to form inter-disciplinary teams and pitch their ideas to a panel of experts from industry. Teams consist of students from multiple programmes including Applied Computing, Business Technology, Web Development, Computer Networks and Software Engineering. The panel of experts included: Ann Swift (Enterprise Manager for the Welsh Government), Professor Ian Wells (Head of the School of Applied Computing) and industry representative Lee Woodman from Visit Digital.
The Winning Team H.E.L.P. (below) consisted of students Paul Lawrence, George Searle, Henry Cobbold and Ross Van Den.
Halo Emergency Logistical Provisions (H.E.L.P.) created a product titled HALO v1 an emergency mobile networking product for governments and aid agencies around the world, is designed to provide a communications system in areas where traditional methods of communications i.e. Cell coms, Wi-Max coms etc. are no longer available due to the damage of communications towers. It is to be utilized in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster provides a High speed Local Area Network (LAN) and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) communications i.e. voice, video and data between rescue workers, medical professionals etc. on the ground to coordinate humanitarian aid/rescue efforts. And a High speed Wide Area Network (WAN) satellite communications i.e. voice, video and data to a Command and Control (C&C) center located in the UK that contains professionally trained logistical coordination staff who will liaise with governments and aid agencies near to the effected country/area to provide.
A special mention and recognition with regard to immediate commercial viability was given to Team ‘Top Ticket’ including team members Oliver Jordan, Lara Terzi and Lewis Ireson (below) for their product ‘Food Scout’. An App that provides comprehensive maps of a store, provides a product’s location and compares prices across stores using location based filters.
Professor Wells (below right) said: “The School strives to include the principles of Entrepreneurship in all that it teaches. This exciting event highlighted some of the very innovative ideas that our students can produce, many of which were commercially viable propositions.”
Fellow judge Anne Swift (above left) added: “It was my pleasure to attend Techstars. It is a great event giving students the opportunity to develop and practice their entrepreneurial skills within their course subject. All of the teams presented innovative business opportunities as well as some really viable products that could be taken forward into real businesses. I hope the event has opened up the students eyes to the possibility starting their own business one day as well as highlighting how they could use the skills to identify opportunities for future employers.”
TECHSTARS organizer James Williams said: “I arranged the event because I know there is great potential within every person and when people are given the opportunity to apply themselves in a supportive environment they discover that potential for themselves. In this case I arranged the event to allow 2nd Year Computing students studying the Enterprise & Innovation module to have the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas and prototypes to a panel of expert judges from industry academia and the Welsh Government. The feedback they received was very valuable inspiring and rewards for the students. A fantastic learning experience for our students who are now better prepared for Graduation and Careers that will positively contribute and evolve our society with their Computing skills and enterprising growth mind-sets.”
Well done and Congratulations to all students who presented at the TECHSTARS Competition 2018.
For more photos please click-here.
Q. What is your Name? Richard Martin
Q. What was your University course? BSc Web Development
Q. What is your job title and role? Developer
Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for?
We build estates management software.
Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job?
Project management as well as coding and computational skills needed for a career in IT.
Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? Get in for nine and get the kettle on. As any developer will tell you software is fueled by caffeine. Spend my morning writing asp.Net MVC and SQL then some self study and onto the React and NoSQL project.
Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? The freedom to manage my own time and investigate and research different technologies as I see fit. Also working with cutting edge technologies such as React.JS.
Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? Do your best in anything you do. My career as a developer started four years ago before I started uni when I took a three week temporary data entry position. I gave it my all as I always do. Within two weeks I had finished all the data entry and moved in to front end web design/development. Which lead into my degree. So, just always do your best at anything you do. You never know what will be your break into your career.
Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University? Hard work, challenging and stressful but one of the best and most rewarding things I have done.
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