From prize-winning project to a dream career
We spoke to Jade Page, who has recently graduated from Computer Science BSc(Hons) about her prize winning project, her time at Brighton and to find out what she is doing now.
What made you choose Brighton and your course?
I wanted to stay close to home, and Brighton is such a beautiful city. My dad also went to UoB and he said it was a great university then too! I chose my course because I’ve always been a techy, and then I did a compsci course at A-level and I was enthralled by it, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!
Congratulations on winning an award at this year’s ceremony! Please tell us more about it.
I won the The Chartered Institute for IT Project Prize for the best final year computer science project 2020. It recognises the hard work I put into my third year project. I was thrilled when I got such a good grade for my project, but I wasn’t expecting an award – it was a lovely surprise to read the e-mail notifying me about it, and I think the difficult year(s) we’ve been having recently just made it all the more exciting for me to have my achievements recognised.
It will make a great addition to my CV, and help me to demonstrate that I did achieve my goals in what ended up being quite a technically challenging project.
Can you tell us about your project?
My project was a “tamagotchi” style game based on a device called an M5 stack, which is like an arduino. It featured a shop, the ability to feed your pet, and 6 minigames. You could also upload your high scores to a website I created. I wrote it in C++ and used node.js for the website. There are some pictures here as they explain better than I can.
Can you describe your experience of studying at Brighton? What were your highlights?
I loved studying at Brighton. I spent most of my time at Moulsecoombe campus and the facilities there are great, especially the large computer suite where you can go to crack on in between your scheduled activities. Really I’d love to go back and do another degree there one day! It’s hard to pick out specific highlights, I enjoyed the whole experience.
Would you recommend your course?
Absolutely! Aside from the great facilities, I found that the courses just had a good “feel” to them – everything was structured so you know exactly what you’re going to be learning each week.
Can you tell us about your placement experience?
I did a placement at a lovely company in West Sussex called 7th Sense Design. They build media servers and create the software for them. I spent the first few months helping to piece together the servers, and then the rest of the placement I got to join the software development team. I got to do some really complex things with graphics card API’s and learned a whole bunch of C++.
I also found it very cool to see things that we had been learning about used in real life settings – yes, people really do use agile methodologies and yes, it does really help! It really highlighted to me how the non-technical things we were being taught were just as important.
I think it was really important to my personal and professional growth – having never worked in a typical office setting before, it helps you get comfortable with it and learn what will be expected of you in your professional career.
The university career’s service really helped me here, they found the placement for me and they offer things such as CV writing help and even interview practice, I’d really recommend everyone to use them.
Did the placement help your final year?
Definately, I enjoyed working with C++ so much that I decided to use it for the bulk of my final year project, as that wasn’t a language I’d used much of before. It also helped me become slightly more disciplined in regards to project planning – I used “proper” tools instead of just scribbling everything down on paper!
Tell us about your experience of teaching and support staff.
The staff are definitely one of the best things about the university. The lecturers are so passionate about what they’re teaching you, and they’re always really upbeat – which I think is really important in technical subjects like discreet mathematics – it helps you be more engaged in the tricky things you need to learn.
All the support staff I met were just as dedicated to the students, the careers service were so helpful and I also used student support services and found our SSGT to be wonderful.
Also, a special shout out to my final year project tutor for helping me to create the project for which this award is for!
Tell us about what you’re doing now
My career goal was to be a software engineer and before I’d even officially graduated I found the perfect role for myself, with a little help from the university career service again! I started working in September and straight away I was using theories we’d learned at uni.
I’m a full time software developer, working mainly in Python. It’s a small company in the environmental services industry, and I couldn’t ask for a better job – it’s very fulfilling getting to put all those years of learning into real life, practical applications. Working in an industry I’m passionate about is an extra bonus too!
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of applying for this course / this university?
Go for it! Work hard, but don’t forget to explore our amazing city in between, when you can. And your tutors really are there to support you – don’t be afraid to drop them an e-mail if you’re stuck, they really do want you to succeed!