“Be intuitive and inquisitive by asking questions (even if you think they are silly) and put yourself out of your comfort zone”
Jade Donaldson, Software Engineer at Deutsche Bank, studied BSc Computing with a Year in Industry and graduated in 2019. We caught up with Jade to find out more about her time at Kent, her Year in Industry, and her role as a Software Engineer.
How do you feel your time at Kent prepared you for working in the industry?
It prepared me well! In my third year of University, I was fortunate enough to go on a Year in Industry at GlaxoSmithKline. It was a wonderful experience and it helped to develop my non-technical skills such as teamwork, professionalism, communication, and leadership. All of these skills are necessary for the industry as well as your technical skills! Technically, the modules in my degree were really centered towards Software Engineering, in particular my final year project which was to develop a mobile and web app to detect sleep cycles. My team and I had all been on a year in the industry so we were able to use industry-standard tools to create this app and I use some of these technologies in my role today!
What did you learn in your degree that has been beneficial to you in your role?
Throughout my time after University, I have used knowledge from almost all of my modules in my role today. As mentioned previously, a large number of the modules I took were centered around Software Engineering such as the development lifecycle, data structures, and algorithms, different programming languages, databases, etc. All of these help me in my role today and gave me a bit of a headstart! The soft skills I developed during this time were also invaluable, teamwork, communication and also reading around topics I was interested in.
What are your main responsibilities and tasks?
I wear a few hats in my role! Predominantly I develop new features for the application I work on, but I also am involved in DevOps for my team. As part of my role, I also frequently talk to our end users with demonstrations of new features and provide production support. Outside of my role, I am also a mentor to new joiners to either the team or the bank which I find very rewarding!
Are you working on any exciting projects that you can share?
Currently, I’m working on splitting out a monolithic application into microservices which has been a challenge! It has involved lots of reading, experimenting with new technology, and learning from the team around me.
What are your plans for the future?
I am enjoying my time on this team and I’ve learned so much over the past couple of years! I would like to start taking some certifications and contribute more to the wider engineering community.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same career path?
You can never learn too much in this industry and it’s constantly changing, so read around subjects you are interested in and keep up to date with the new trends in technology. Be intuitive and inquisitive by asking questions (even if you think they are silly) and put yourself out of your comfort zone. Also, attend networking events or build a network online, there are great people in this industry to learn from and great companies to work for and this is one of the ways to find them.
What was your favourite memory from your time at Kent?
My year in industry was wonderful and I have so many unforgettable memories and experiences from that year. I also enjoyed being on campus at University with my friends and joining the societies, I performed at a couple of open mic nights which were a lot of fun!