"By the end of my placement, I had implemented a variety of complex features in a large software product that’s used by businesses all over the world, which felt like a huge achievement."
I had an interest in computers from a young age, and when I discovered programming, I was hooked by the idea of being able to create anything I wanted with code. I was interested in studying at Surrey because of its strong links to industry and the Department of Computer Science’s great reputation. Seeing Surrey for myself at an Open Day convinced me to apply.
Computer science is a very broad subject, so learning about specific areas of research and technologies has helped me to find out what I’m most interested in. For example, I didn’t know anything about distributed computing before I started here, but this year it was one of my favourite modules, and I’ve even chosen it as the topic for my final year project!
Our assignments are often difficult but rarely boring. At the core of each is just a problem to solve and there’s a lot of freedom to solve it in your own way. There’s plenty of great lab space with powerful PCs which you can also access remotely. I’ve recently been using this to train large artificial intelligence models.
A highlight of my degree was going on Professional Training placement to Xceptor, a fintech company that provides process automation software to many well-known banks. As a software engineer in the company’s development office, my day-to-day role was to programme new features and bug fixes for Xceptor’s core product, which involved writing code in C#, Typescript and SQL. I also contributed to daily stand-up meetings and refinement sessions, peer-reviewed code for other team members, worked alongside QA engineers to verify the quality of each code update, and collaborated directly with clients on a major new functionality of the product.
By the end of my placement, I had implemented a variety of complex features in a large software product that’s used by businesses all over the world, which felt like a huge achievement. Beyond gaining new technical skills, I also built an understanding of industry as a whole, seeing how businesses communicate and get things done day to day. I developed a whole new appreciation of the time and effort that goes into making good software.
"Surrey has been a great choice for me. The campus has a great atmosphere and everyone here is really nice and friendly in my experience. I’ve been a member of both CompSoc (the Computer Science society) which organises social events and talks, and HackSurrey, which holds hackathons enabling you to practice your coding skills."
I’ve also worked as a student ambassador which was a good way to meet people I wouldn’t otherwise interact with, and make a little extra money too.
Final year hasn’t been easy, but I’ve already got a software engineering role lined up for when I graduate, so I won’t have to worry about looking for work once my course is over. I’m excited to see what comes next in my career.