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 National Welsh 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 National 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.