So what’s new with me? Well I have realised that it has been 5 months since I started my placement and as I was going through my log of activities, I realised that even though I have done quite a few things there is still so much I want to do in London before I go back to Manchester! And as Christmas is just around the corner I am determined more than ever to enjoy my time on my placement.
(Oxford Street – ready for the holidays)
I am now no longer working in Newbury, so I’m situated in solely London now. So goodbye small and cosy Newbury and hello rush hour in the tube every morning! To be honest I did miss London over the week whilst working in Newbury, so it’s been a nice change. If only I could teleport to work in the morning though…!
It’s strange to think back to my first day on my current project when I was bombarded with acronyms and a dozen systems which meant nothing to me! Now I can happily say I think I’m up to grips with most of the previously mysterious words in my emails, it soons become second knowledge once you settle in. There has also been some changes in the past month with quite a few people leaving the company who I am definitely going to miss.
Overall, the industrial placement is an experience I would definitely recommend doing – you gain soft skills, technical skills and realise how useful things you learn in University are. And you get to go to a Medieval Dinner as a Christmas event for all the Industrial Placement students – and oh yes we do need to dress up so it should be fun 🙂
I can safely say that I have come to realise just how important most of the material we learn at the University is. Take Software Engineering as an example, back in uni I was used to owning each stage of the software development process – there would be no clients, no stakeholders, I had access to everything because I was doing most, if not, all of it. If I ran the wrong thing it was okay, no one was losing millions because of it, however, this is not usually the case on the project I am working now. You have multiple teams working on a stack of systems that implement completely different but equally important applications, which when brought together achieve the end goal. To be completely honest I knew of the different testing phases but I never really could use all of them to test my applications in university, so it was definitely good to see how each of them has been done – most of them requiring its own separate environment.
I’ve also come across some very useful websites and on-line courses that I hope you might find useful too. I am sure most of you have heard of them but just in case you haven’t they are: www.edx.org and www.coursera.org . These websites are just wonderful and full with free on-line courses you can take, from Introduction to Game Design from MIT to Psychology. I realise that most of us CS students barely have time to breathe with uni work, what with all the exams, labs and projects, however, if you do find some spare time doing something extra might be really beneficial. I have done one course so far and I am currently signed up for two more. One of them being an Android Development course – an area which I don’t have much experience yet but I am keen to learn and improve on.
(“The important thing is not to stop questioning” – Albert Einstein)
It’s not all work and study, I do find time to enjoy the fact that I am in London, which of course means that I have been visiting as many landmarks as possible, including a river boat cruise, boarding the Emirates Air Lines and experiencing somewhat strange, but delicious meals – duck and waffle!? I was shocked at first, but this is surprisingly tasty! Who would have thought that duck goes well with maple syrup? Not me, believe me! I’ve also taken up yoga classes too which has been really enjoyable. The highlight of my month though has definitely been seeing my mother and my sister after 5 months as they came to visit me from Bulgaria. Although they were only here for 4 days, I was extremely happy to finally see them after so long!
P.S. One more thing! If you have the time definitely visit Edinburgh – it’s an amazing town. Went there for 3 days and I wish I could have stayed there at least 3 months 🙂
(Edinburgh castle – a fairytale like castle that ones housed kings and queens)