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

Posts tagged ‘University’

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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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.

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.

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!.

TECHSTARS Competition 2018

TECHSTARS 2018 COMPETITION

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.

Students receiving their Certificates of Achievement.

For more photos please click-here.

Guest Speaker Rob James on New & Immersive Technology

The School of Applied Computing welcomed Digital Architect Rob James from the DVLA in Swansea this afternoon. Rob spoke with students studying the Change Management module on the Business Information Technology and Applied Computing degrees about the ways in which new technology such as VR, AR, AI and The Internet of Things (IOT) is changing the way businesses are being run.

A fascinating insight into how new technology is shaping the future of business!

Thanks Rob!

Graduate Profile: Richard Martin – Web Developer

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

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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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>> If you would like to submit a Graduate Profile please contact james.williams@uwtsd.ac.uk.

Graduates deliver Inspirational Talks @ UWTSD SOAC Swansea

Many thanks to Business Technology Graduate Dan Hawkes (BT), Web Development Graduate Jordan Crocker (Senior Web Developer) and Computer Networks Graduate Simon Downes (PhD student) for visiting the University today to talk with our students about their University and Career journey to date, sharing valuable hints and tips for academic and career success. Inspirational invaluable and greatly appreciated. Thank you all.

Graduate Profile: Thomas Matti @ ARCADIS

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Q. What is your Name? Thomas Matti

Q. What was your University course? Business & Information Technology.

Q. What is your job title and role? Risk Management Analyst.

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? I work for a company called Arcadis which is the Leading Global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets. Applying deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services. We have 28,000 people active in over 70 countries that generate more than €3 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world.

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? The first role at the company included working with database formulas which I learnt on the course. These skills helped me complete tasks with ease.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? My typical day would consist of coming into work at 7:30, look at my calendar to see what tasks I have for the day such as: Sitting with peers to discuss new potential risks, attending meetings and presenting findings to senior management.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? Results, it’s nice to actually see some improvement in your work and receive recognition from it.

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? I think personally having a degree is crucial for really kick-starting your career.

And as cheesy as it sounds the advice I would provide is never give up!

There were times on my course where I didn’t understand information, contemplated is this what I wanted to do? But as long as you have the mentality to never give up and be hopeful that something will come out of it then something will. Then you can apply that mentality not just to the course you’re doing but also to the career you’re seeking.

Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University? Highs and lows, but worth the Graft.

Graduate Profile: Jason Price (Systems Administrator)

What is your name? My name is Jason Price.

What was your University course?
I completed two University Degrees at Swansea’s School of Applied Computing. Both my Undergraduate degree and Postgraduate Masters were in the area of Computer Networks.

What is your job title and role?
My Current role is a Systems Administrator.

Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? 

I work for a company called Medical Connections Ltd; the company name may suggest a medical company however it is actually a software company. The company specialises in a software toolkit (API) which allow software developers with limited knowledge of DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) to cover the medical area of all types of scans ranging from ultrasound to MRI. DICOM is the standard way an image or video is created, transferred, shared, and even stored in a clinical environment. Because the standard is so vast, it makes sense for a ‘new’ DICOM developer to use a toolkit which would do all the standardisation for them, so they can concentrate on making a successful application.

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

The University gave me the independence to break down tasks, and to troubleshoot in a manner which was thorough and precise. The University also gave me the knowledge to find and research in a critical way while also only looking for ‘relevant’ information and how to identify them quickly and efficiently so not to spend too much time on a ‘dead end’.

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

I’ll usually start my day by looking through email filtering to ensure customer emails have not been falsely stopped. I will then look at the Virtual Hosts to ensure clean operation and if any errors have been found then to action them appropriately. After checking all internal systems, I will then inspect / improve / action external services such as the website, license services, and cloud services. I will then check my “to do” tasks and complete as necessary, which can range from improving developer’s machines (upgrading hardware) to changing infrastructure and servers.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

Troubleshooting: I like finding a difficult or unusual problem and trying to find a solution or even sometimes a workaround. Sometimes the problems can test your researching skills, intuitions and/or even your patience, but always satisfying to find a solution that just works.

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

Make sure that you enjoy your chosen field of study, that’s it’s not something that you only excel at, but you actually enjoy doing. For me technology has always excited and inspired me, and I’ve always loved troubleshooting and tinkering. Using things in a manner where they were not originally designed.

I would also recommend that whatever your chosen field is don’t stop at its completion, if you can  complete your professional qualifications even at the lowest level as soon as possible this will give you an edge in the job market, but also give you a boost in confidence.

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