‘Kent helped me be prepared to join the world of work in so many ways’
Chris Tasker, Lead Software Developer at Fivium, graduated from his BSc Computer Science with a Year in Industry degree in 2016. We caught up with Chris to find out more about his role, including projects he’s working on, and his time at Kent.
How do you feel your time at Kent prepared you for working in the industry?
Kent helped me be prepared to join the world of work in so many ways. To name a couple, would be the focus on the degree to be able to learn, and to teach the foundations needed to learn more. Rather than being taught to do X, Kent’s CS programme focussed on teaching you the things you need to go and learn Y and Z, and in a field that changes and evolves as quickly as Computer Science, that is so important. Also, the huge emphasis on the Year in Industry, and the amazing support provided by the industry leading placement office meant I was able to secure an excellent placement programme in industry which has led me to where I am today.
What did you learn in your degree that has been beneficial to you in your role?
The main thing I learned in my Degree was the ability to comprehend, and to reason, around complex tasks. This is the most fundamental part of CS, and is the kind of thing you will never stop using, no matter which industry or career you end up in.
What are your main responsibilities and tasks?
As Lead developer, my main responsibilities are to ensure the software projects I, and my team, deliver meet our software standards, are maintainable, and that we’re building high quality software that will make the lives of the civil service easier. As well as this, I also run the placement programme meaning I get to play a key part in the year in industry we offer to people studying for their undergraduate degree.
Are you working on any exciting projects that you can share?
I’m just about to move to another team within Fivium to kick start a new project designed to help central government departments and other public sector bodies handle DPR requests. This is pretty exciting for me as it’ll be my first time working on a SAAS product (eCase) and I’ll be leading a team I’ve not worked with before, and I’ll be working with different customers.
What are your plans for the future?
Right now, my plans are to continue to grow at Fivium, and to continue moving to different areas of the business. I think it’s important that you don’t get stuck solving the same problems, doing the same thing. I’m fortunate that I can repeatedly face new challenges at Fivium and I’m really excited for what’s coming up in the next 6 months.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same career path?
Focus on finding what you love. Be that a tech stack, a type of product, or an industry. The most important thing is that you enjoy your work.
What was your favourite memory from your time at Kent?
In my first year, I won the university a gig from Tinchy Stryder, and as a bonus win, I got to spend 30 minutes or so backstage with him and all my housemates before the gig. I was walking around Park Wood, knocking on doors, asking random people to fill out this survey with my referral code so I could win the gig. This is the kind of fun thing you’ll probably only get to do at Uni, so make the most of it!
Is there anything else you wish to mention?
I feel pretty fortunate in my role as Head of Placement as I get to stay in touch, and frequently visit the university. Seeing it grow since I’ve left is really exciting, and I’m glad I get to stay in touch.