"The broad scope of my role on placement... showed me that I like to be involved with different stages of development on a number of projects. For this reason, I accepted the role of software engineer with my placement company after graduation."
What was your most useful experience at Surrey?
Being taught computer science by a team of academics who were actively publishing research and delivering projects to tackle real-world issues was a constant motivator throughout my time at Surrey.
One of the stand-out experiences for me was the workshop on ‘requirements analysis’, which was delivered by an external lecturer from Microsoft. In this workshop, we were taught how to picture issues as an end user which helped us to identify the core issue which a piece of software is trying to solve. Not only is this approach crucial for gathering accurate, useful requirements from customers, it also enables you to suggest potential upselling opportunities.
How did your Professional Training year influence your final year studies and graduate job search?
I started my Professional Training placement year, in a software engineering role at Avco Systems, with no prior experience of working in a full-time job. However, armed with skills from the first two years of university, within the first week I was actively contributing code to production.
While on placement, I developed an interest in web application security and distributed computing (especially blockchain), which helped me choose the final year modules that would be most useful for my future. Working within an experienced team also refined my debugging process and enabled me to use a complex technology stack for my final year project.
The broad scope of my role on placement, combined with the experience of working on eight different projects showed me that I like to be involved with different stages of development on a number of projects. For this reason, I accepted the role of software engineer with my placement company after graduation.
How has your degree benefited you so far?
My degree has taught me the fundamentals for software development which I use daily, including avoidance of repeated code, database management, unit testing and the agile methodology.
Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share with prospective students?
Taking a broad software engineering role in your placement year will allow you to discover which aspects of the process appeal to you - which could include business analysis, project management, software engineering and dev-ops.
"Whilst coding may not be for everyone, spending a year writing code within a team will give you a firm technical grasp which will be very useful for other software engineering jobs after graduation."