From computing studies to a graduate role as a Software Engineer

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Recent graduate Kieran shares with us his experience of studying Computing – Application Software Development at RGU and his new role as a Graduate Software Engineer.

How I got into computing

University wasn’t supposed to be an option for someone like me. At least that’s how the stereotype goes. I struggled in exams, I left school at 16 and although I was very passionate about computing, I certainly did not have the confidence to apply.

Computing excites me as I have a passion for problem-solving. A career in computing gives incredible autonomy which you wouldn’t get in a lot of jobs. In my job, I pick what tools to use to tackle a problem, what methods I use (with their benefits and trade-offs) and I am given the trust to deliver that solution to our 19 million customers across high street brands like RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank. There aren’t many fields that can give you that level of impact as a recent graduate.

College was a great staircase for me and helped me not only get the qualifications, but most importantly, the confidence to study at RGU. It was not that scary as I found out.

My experience studying at RGU

One of the immediate things that drives you forward at RGU is the passion in the classrooms, the lecturers there stay to answer your questions and everyone helps each other out. I shared more notes in my first semester than I ever did before.

I decided to study computing at RGU as I wanted a practical course where I could learn new things and apply them straight away. The lecturers played a more active role, playing into a positive culture of feedback which eventually gave me lots of confidence about my capabilities when I moved into the industry.

RGU’s focus on practical skills has helped me kickstart my career and adapt in a fast-changing technology landscape. Working in a rotational graduate scheme I often work with vastly different tools throughout the year.

Where this is often a challenge to new joiners, my time studying at RGU has given me excellent experience with the fundamentals of application development, and has given me a breadth of experience across multiple Programming Languages, Cloud Computing and AI fundamentals. Additionally, the fact that we learn to use business tools like Agile in such depth makes the transition into the workplace so much easier.

Working in computing

A current day in my role changes every few months but right now I work in my organisation’s technology strategy and architecture team, directly working with executive-level stakeholders to design solutions to enterprise-level problems.

In my first placement at NatWest, I worked as a full stack developer on our AI chatbot using tools like node.js, react & Kubernetes. I was able to get a great first impression and was given the opportunity to stay on for a 2nd placement (an extra 6 months) in the same team, mostly due to the experience I got using these languages and tools at RGU.

I constantly recommend RGU as the practical-driven learning has taken a lot of the surprise out of moving into industry, letting me focus on refining my skills rather than learning new ones.

Kieran Soutter

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The post From computing studies to a graduate role as a Software Engineer appeared first on RGU Student Blog.

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