What is your degree?
BSc Computer Science
Which company did you work for placement and how long?
Unboxed (https://unboxed.co) 2 x 3 month placements
Why did you choose to takes some time working in industry as part of your degree?
At first I was interested in how topics were relevant in the workplace and what it was like to work as a Software Engineer, was it for me? I returned for a second summer after having a great time at Unboxed in 2014 as well as realising that internships are an incredible way to learn new things.
Have you enjoyed it so far?
My two summers with Unboxed have been my best to date - London's really great city to explore. I really enjoyed the project work for Unboxed, being a consultancy, working on different projects keeps you on your toes and make sure you're always learning.
What skills have you been able to develop?
I've been able to touch on a huge number of new technologies over the two summers. Git and working collaboratively with Github is key one. Being a Rails consultancy meant that projects typically had a Ruby focus, but projects always always had additional technologies and factors to learn as well. Sometimes that's around deployment, sometimes it's about business processes, sometimes it's related to a legacy codebase. I never worked on a greenfield client project so navigating an unfamiliar codebase is another key skill I've been able to start building on, this in particular is hard to get as part of your degree.
Do you think the experience will help you when you come back to your degree course?
My experience gained in summer 2014 was particularly useful in the group software project in the 3rd year.
How did your BSc Computing Science prepare you for your time in industry?
I was lucky to have covered Ruby on Rails both on my own time and during the level 1 and level 2 Web Application Development courses. I had also been able to work on a project with the Aberdeen Software Factory through Dr. Bruce Scharlau in the department.
How has the Department helped you with your time in industry?
The department was able to suggest companies that had a relationship with the department, Unboxed was on the list. I also have relatives in London so that was my first port of call. I have also been able to earn 15 credits for my time spent working as an intern.
Have you any advice for prospective students thinking about taking some time in industry?
Think of an idea for a side project today and start working on it tomorrow. Have a presence on Github & StackOverflow, get a personal website. Write a C.V. and get the careers service to review it for you. Take the web application development courses in level 1 and 2 and generally learn stuff on these topics, lots going on. Listen to podcasts, I'd recommend The Changelog as a good starting point. Read tech news, Hacker News has good discussions, you can also checkout a newsreader I made for myself at serializer.io. Take on new things, university is a good time to experiment, if you want to checkout that new language / framework now's a really cheap time to do so. When choosing companies tailor your applications and look for companies that do work you're interested in, from personal experience, the varied work at consultancies like Unboxed is a lot of fun and a great way to learn.
Find me at charlieegan3.com