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

Posts tagged ‘University of Wales Trinity Saint David’

It’s Hand-in Day for year 3’s Exhibition Boards

It’s been a busy day in the SoAC School Office as our third years call in to drop off their Exhibition Boards for marking.

But there’s far more to the Exhibition Boards than simply getting a good grade.  Producing an A1-size poster summarising their degree project also gives students the opportunity to develop presentation and marketing skills – vital in today’s workplace.

After the boards have been marked, the students will be displaying their work to the public at the School’s 2016 Degree Show at TechHub on May 26th. But as well as showcasing their boards, the poster event also gives them the chance to meet local employers who are looking for graduates with their skills.

Businesses and entrepreneurs come to the annual event to browse the ability, innovation and initiative on show.   But they don’t just look.  Impressed employers at previous years’ Degree Shows have offered graduate placements and work experience .. . so don’t miss it!

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School of Applied Computing Goes Green

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You can’t have missed noticing what a green bunch we are in the School of Applied Computing. From the  message on the 3rd-floor screen about our recycling point to the stickers reminding you to switch off lights as you leave a room, we never miss an opportunity to do our bit for the environment.

The chance came to prove it today when we were audited for the NUS Green Impact Bronze Award.  The criteria we were assessed on were :

  • Waste & Recycling
  • Energy
  • Travel
  • Procurement
  • Wellbeing, Biodiversity & Community
  • Embedding & Communication

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed participating in Green Impact this academic year.  It’s given us the chance to engage with sustainability at an everyday level, raise awareness and develop good practice within the School.

Our Team’s contribution is currently being assessed, with the results of the awards to be announced shortly.  Watch this space!

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Graduate Profile: David Jones

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What was your undergraduate degree and when did you graduate?

HND Web Management then BSc (Hons) Degree in Computer Networking (2004)

What is your job title and role?

Senior IT Operations Manager.  My role is to oversee the day to day operations of multiple technical teams to ensure service is maintained and tooling is exploited. I provide advice and guidance on infrastructure complexities and am an authority for the teams I manage.

Could you briefly describe the organization you work for?

Fujitsu provide information technology solutions for businesses including application services, IT consulting, infrastructure services and products. My career began in Fujitsu where I worked as a junior engineer and progressed through to my current role. In September 2015 I transferred to the DVLA in the first major IT in-sourcing project for the government and successfully landed the capability. Now stabilization has been established, I have decided to leave the DVLA and go back to the private sector with a security company; here I will be working internationally to assist them in accomplishing their worldwide objectives.

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

Yes, I had a keen interest in both Computer and Networking Security and based my dissertation on this subject. I would like to say this was my main drive for choosing my Job however; it came down to location and who the company was in the end. Considering their status globally in the IT market, I felt they were the best company to begin my IT career. I started as a junior engineer where my drive and passion for success assisted me greatly in moving through the ranks and in the eleven years I have been with them, progressed through multiple roles taking on more responsibility while adapting and embracing to the change.

What modules are most helpful to you in your job?

Computer Systems Analysis, Computer Networking, Wide Area Networks, Quality Management Principles, Human Computer Interface and most of all the main Project. I really felt these helped pull all the subjects together and aid in my development.

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

In all aspects of my job I find myself using the skills learned in University. Primarily for me, understanding a projects lifecycle through a project plan and developing that project through requirements specification, system specification, testing and validation and a conclusion. This methodology is the foundation of ITIL best practice which is an industry standard today.

Computer Systems and Analysis is key in my opinion, it really does set you up for almost anything in the work place as they skills are transferable regardless of technology. This kind of learning and development is priceless as it can be used over and over and developed, improved and passed on.

The key aspect of University is conditioning you to working under pressure and accepting pressure as a driver rather than an something to avoid.

Where do you use your specialist skills and abilities (e.g. business, programming, web, databases, networks etc.)

My role has evolved considerably since working for Fujitsu; I used all of the technical skill I learned in University for my role. Skills learned change frequently and it is essential to keep up to date with technology trends. However, basic principles remain the same and so, providing an understanding of how a given technology works is firmly understood, changes within that are easier to adapt to. One basic example of this and one almost everyone would be familiar with is Microsoft Operating Systems. If they are examined over the last ten years the functionality is the same, it has just been improved upon and the interface is different. From NT4 through to Windows Server 2012 R2 or even Windows 98 to Windows 10, Microsoft have added in new functionality and improved them but picking up each new Operating System with a baseline is easier than learning it for the first time.

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

My role today is much different from when I began, as a Senior IT Operations manager I have accountability for multiple teams of IT professionals. I rely on them for the in depth details of the technology and I work as a Manager, ensuring process is followed to strict change controls. I took on additional responsibility for a new account with Fujitsu and travelled there once a week or worked remotely depending on the demands placed upon me. While at Fujitsu I reported to Account Executives and regularly attended board level meetings to discuss the capability, or deal with corporate level escalations as and when required.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

Watching people develop and gain confidence, being a mentor or coach as and when required.

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

Focus on University, your strengths and weaknesses come out through the subjects you study and your career path will develop naturally. Find your strengths and exploit them, understand your weaknesses and accept them.

Graduate Profile: Dafydd Moore @ John Lewis PLC

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What was your undergraduate degree?

BSc (Hons) Web Management

What is your job title and role?
IT Communications and Engagement Manager for John Lewis PLC.  This role involves bringing together key stakeholders from around the business to understand the capabilities of technology and how we can turn it into a strategic advantage for our business.

Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for?
John Lewis Partnership is a multi-site retailer consisting of John Lewis Department stores and Waitrose Supermarkets. It is the UKs largest employee owned business.

Did you complete a foundation degree or HND/C before studying for your degree?
Yes, I completed a HND first then converted this into a BSc.

Where do you find yourself using the skills that you developed in University?
At my time in University I started my development journey in some key skills that I use daily at work.  Critical reasoning, researching and going beyond the obvious to get to the heart of a matter,  meeting deadlines and working in teams were some of the key ones.  If you want to be more of a technical expert you need to work hard to keep these skills current and marketable, view the skills you have been taught as the start of a learning journey that carries on once you complete your formal education.

Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?
Every day is very different. I have a team of Engagement Managers and Communication Officers.  The Engagement team look after the strategic requirements of the end users ensuring our IT function understands their needs and they are informing our architecture, delivery and service operations teams making sure they are aware what is going on in the business.  I meet with these most mornings and review our service delivery performance.  I will then have various meetings and discussions or site visits to understand where we can make the most difference to our business and how we can manage the value perception of IT.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?
I am very fortunate I get to work at the cutting edge of IT and am tasked with understanding new technologies, the impact they may have on our business and how we can use this to be the disruptor in our sector rather than the disrupted.  This can involve supplier visits to companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple or technology shows such as NRF in New York.

Any tips for someone wanting to develop a career in your sector?
The longer I have worked in IT the more certain I am that people skills will play a more and more important role for those that want to pursue a career in IT.  All the work I do now is very collaborative and stakeholder management is critical.  As you progress through your studies take time to support those around you and understand how the work you are doing might help them…..and have fun it is a great industry to work in!

Computing Event: Guest Speakers

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The School welcomes three industry speakers over the next few weeks who will be sharing their experience of working in the Computing  & Technology industry with students. All Welcome (Students, Staff, Graduates and Community). Speakers include:
  • Luke Jenkins  from SureView Systems – Thursday 2/3/2016 – Room MH503 – 11am
  • Ed Turtle from Hoowla – Wednesday 9/3/2016 – Room MH503 – 11.30am
  • Grant Armstrong from Aria Networks – friday 11/3/2016 – Room MH503 – 11.30am.

Guest Speaker: Elliot Thomas

Applied Computing Graduate and Successful Tech Entrepreneur Elliot Thomas (right) returned to the School today to share what he has learned with our students. Elliot (Winner of Start-Up Weekend Swansea) secured funding and support from several backers and has started several Tech Companies since graduating Fuzmo (a Pet Picture sharing App), Skippr (an Instagram Marketing App) and Clockers (a Cloud Software Development Talent Service).
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Students photo-bombing 🙂

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The students thoroughly enjoyed Elliot’s talk and we would like to thank Elliot for returning to the School and look forward to welcoming him back in the future :-). Thank you Elliot – Good luck with your new ventures and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Zambia School Visit

A delegation from Zambia visited Swansea’s School of Applied Computing last week – please see some of the photos below. The School is now looking to develop further links in the future with the possibility of student project work and the teaching of Zambian school teachers. The delegation also shared some of their innovative teaching methods for Teaching Computing with little resources demonstrating very good practice within the field of frugal innovation.

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Visit to MATLAB EXPO 2015

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Representatives from Swansea’s School of Applied Computing (Arya, Carlene and Archie) recently visited the MATLAB EXPO in Silverstone.

MATLAB (matrix laboratory) is a multi-paradigm numerical computing environment and fourth-generation programming language that allows matrix manipulations, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces and is primarily used for numerical computing.

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Lecturer Dr Carlene Campbell finds the Simulink element of MathWorks-MATLAB useful in teaching Computer Networks & Internet Security:

I did enjoy the expo, especially the first speaker. The demonstration room allowed one to gain ideas for research projects and more…  – Carlene

While Phd student tutors Archie and Arya both use Matlab for their research:

I found the event very informative and rewarding, especially considering it was free to attend. The keynote was particularly good as it showed how Matlab is used across a diverse range of industries and the types of system it’s been involved with the development of, perhaps most notably the New Horizons Flight Software. The technical talks and demonstrations were also great; they also weren’t too long so it was easy to stay focused. Several sessions will be beneficial to my research and I’d strongly recommend the event to anyone in the faculty. – Archie.

The event was spectacular. I found most of the presentations, relevant and useful. The demonstrations were great. In particular, one of the exhibitions was so helpful that I might be adapting a similar approach in my PhD experiment. – Arya

To view the demonstrations please click the image below:

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For more information about the event please click-here. And for event proceedings  please click-here.

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.

Adam Curtis : Computing Careers & Tech Start-Ups

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Adam Curtis, CEO of Hoowla & Software Development Agency ‘ClockWorkBear’ and Co-founder of TECHHUB Swansea visited UWTSD Swansea’s School of Applied Computing today to talk to Enterprise & Innovation students about Careers in Computing and Tech Start-Up opportunities.

The Student Group thoroughly enjoyed Adam’s talk and look forward to seeing him again at Start-Up Weekend Swansea next month.

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