Craig Heptinstall IY GermanyWhile being on the Software Engineering (MEng) course meant it was compulsory to partake in an industrial year, I felt the need to go on one anyway, as a chance to learn what it actually means to work in the industry, get out there, and explore. Luckily for me, that entailed getting a job in Germany at a small company in the state of Bavaria (a famous location for beer). I landed less than a week after leaving Aber from second year, in a country I knew little off, and especially having zero German language skills. Though I think throwing myself in the deep end this year has definitely broadened my view on what Its like to begin a full time job in my chosen area. With the help of some German lessons (that work actually paid for), and countless times of simply giving in and asking people "sprechen Sie Englisch?", I managed to get set up with everything I needed. As for the job, I was entailed as a developer of a JavaEE translation project management application, where I dealt with finding/ fixing bugs, and integrating other translation tools via web services. As an intern, it meant although as time went on I became more independent, there was always somebody on hand to help! Out of work life was great too, as there happens to be a lot of events there, from drinking festivals to the amazing Christmas markets. I've made some friends out there I hope to always keep in touch with too. Bottom line from my IY year to others thinking about it: It’s something I can't recommend doing enough; (at home or abroad) it gives you a chance to see what it's actually like in the real world, meet some great people, and gain invaluable experience!
Kit Farmer IT IBM"Hi! I'm Kit Farmer and I did my IY in IBM at its site in Hursley. Hursley is a beautiful place to work even though I did spend a lot of my time inside! I worked in the Java Technology Centre, working closely with a team developing diagnostics tools that would be used by customers and fellow IBMers alike. I've also been doing some volunteer work as a part of the placement; I've been teaching IT lessons to pupils at a local school and helped create a fun interactive game for Blue Fusion, an event where students from schools come to compete against each other and learn more about IBM and STEM subjects. I have made some seriously cool friends and met some incredibly talented people and I feel like my own skills have definitely improved over my time here. There's such a wide range of activities and experiences to get involved in that I think it would have been hard to come here and not find some way to improve myself! I'm really hoping I'll be back here as a graduate and I hope that other people come and see just how much they can learn from a placement at IBM!"
Helen Harman IY CERNI am studying MEng Software Engineering and have just come to the end of my year in industry. For my year in industry I worked at CERN, in the Industrial Controls & Engineering group. This group develops and supports some of the control systems used at CERN. My job was to work on the quality assurance and testing of the code. We use a programming language called CTRL, and being a proprietary language not many testing tools are readily available. I developed a static code analysis tool and a unit testing tool. Both of these and the graphical user interface testing, automatically run each night. While at CERN I took up the amazing opportunity to go visit some of the underground caverns which hold the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) experiments. I visited CMS, ALICE, ATLAS, LHCb and the beam dump. It was great to learn a little about each of these experiments. As well as learning about CERN I also learnt a lot about different counties and cultures. I lived in France but Switzerland was just a 30 minute walk away, and I worked with people from around the world. When I arrived I did not know any French, and I had to face the challenge of asking for directions and filling in French forms. Over the year I learnt a massive amount about different technologies and cultures. I have met a lot of lovely people and been to some incredible places. I had a wonderful time working at CERN and exploring Switzerland; but I am looking forward to returning to Aberystwyth and completing my degree.
Gideon Jones IY Plymouth Marine LaboratoryI'm Gideon Jones, & I did my industrial year placement at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML). I worked on the NEODAAS project at PML, which dealt with the processing of near earth observation satellite data, mainly of the sea. I was involved in the processing & delivery of satellite data for scientists & scientific cruises, the latter on a near-real time basis. I got the opportunity to work in plenty of other areas at PML, including the development of a HTML5 image viewing application & an application form, a tool for translating file format conventions from NASA's to our own & upgrading our web server (involving physically moving a few!). I've had a great time at PML, having felt like I've contributed something to the place via my additions to the codebase & data I have processed for scientists, as well as hugely improved my own skills while not forgetting meeting a wide range of talented & interesting people!
All students are encouraged to spend a year working in the computing industry between the second and third taught years of their degree scheme.
Help is available from the department and the University's Careers Service to find suitable placements and to develop your interview skills and CV.
Our Industrial Year students are in demand with prestigious employers such as IBM, HP and Microsoft. By the end of your second year you already have enough knowledge and understanding to make a substantial contribution at work. Most students find they return from their industrial year with much improved skills, more motivated to learn, and having a better idea of what areas of computing interest them.
Detailed information for students and employers may be found on the department's Industrial Year pages [click here].