A computing student at Strathclyde University, Allan MacIntyre explains how his student summer placement taught him several, very useful new languages.
What is your background?
I‘m from a small village in the Highlands called Ballachulish. I’m at the University of Strathclyde studying BSc (Hons) Computer Science.
On my course, I study many different aspects of software engineering. This includes modules in software analysis and design, programming techniques, web application engineering, communications and databases.
What did you like most about your placement?
I particularly enjoyed learning new programming languages which I would not have learnt while at university. For example, C#, ASP.NET and SQL. The people at Albasoft gave me the opportunity to learn these languages in a commercial environment and develop a system using them for their company.
What project were you involved in?
I developed a web-based system that allowed individual NHS practices access to their financial claim submissions, held on a database on their behalf. I wrote software to process their submission and then display the detailed information to them. I then developed an edited version for the Finance Department of the NHS. This listed all the practices and whether they had submitted. This project is now live and being used in over 170 NHS Practices in Scotland. Feedback has been positive.
What did you learn and what skills have you gained?
Firstly, valuable experience with C#, ASP.NET and SQL, which I am now using in my final year project, and may even be using once I get a job after graduating. I picked up valuable presentation and organizational skills. All these will help me get a job after university.
What have you taken away from the Summer Placement training course you attended?
The training course helped me realise that my placement was a lot more than just a job. It was a stepping-stone towards a career after university, and my future in general. The skills I was learning were indispensable to my development as a student, and as a person. It also gave me experience of presentations and team building exercises, all new to me.
Any advice to other students?
Keep an open mind. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Widening your horizons and opening yourself up to new opportunities could be the best thing that could happen to you.
My simple motto to live by would be ‘Work Hard, Play Harder’.