Graduate success: Dan Bennett, Principal Developer at Capacitas

Dan Bennett

‘The modules I took at Kent taught me everything I needed to know about coding and development practices in general. If it wasn’t for my time at Kent, I wouldn’t be where I am today’

Dan Bennett, Principal Developer at Capacitas, studied BSc Hons Computing with a Year in Industry and graduated in 2015. In this interview, we catch up with Dan about his role at Capacitas, his Year in Industry advice, and his favourite memories of Kent.

How do you feel your time at Kent prepared you for working in the industry?
The modules I took at Kent taught me everything I needed to know about coding and development practices in general. If it wasn’t for my time at Kent, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

What did you learn in your degree that has been beneficial to you in your role?
How to code! I’d never done any programming before starting at Kent, back in 2011. Now, over 10 years later, I’m the lead developer at Capacitas and manage the careers of our other developers!!!

What are your main responsibilities and tasks?
I lead our in-house development team, who specialise in producing web applications and software tools that are used by our consultants, to help complete their usual day-to-day work quicker and more efficiently. I am also one of the lead members of the Health & Safety team, and am also part of the Social Committee.

Fun fact: I am just one of many Kent alumni who have worked at, or currently work at Capacitas; I count 17 Kent alumni past and present… not bad for a small company! I am currently the longest serving Kent alumni in the company.

Are you working on any exciting projects that you can share?
I’m currently working on building a handful of Machine Learning products (written in Python) that will allow consultants to better predict future behaviour of our client’s system, based on past events and data.

What are your plans for the future?
The three main goals I have for the future are: 1) To continually evolving the Capacitas toolsets and products, 2) to help the Capacitas development grow in numbers and stature, and 3) to continue to help younger, budding developers to progress with their careers and realise their potential

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same career path?
If you have the chance to do so, apply for a Year in Industry degree. While the uni lectures helped build my knowledge in certain theoretical areas, nothing beats the experience of real-life work. It gives you the chance to see if the career you thought you wanted to get into is all it cracked up to be. If it does, then fantastic! If not, you still would have had an invaluable year’s worth of experience, which goes a long way for prospective employers. I did my Year in Industry at Capacitas as a Junior Analyst/Consultant, found that I preferred the development side of the job, and was lucky enough to be offered a position back at Capacitas as a Junior Developer after graduation… I’ve been here ever since!

What was your favourite memory from your time at Kent?
Football in the Sports Hall, final year group project work antics in the Drill Hall library, drinks and football pool at the Cargo Bar in Liberty Quays with an excellent group of friends – most of whom I still meet up with at least once a year, one of whom I even worked with at Capacitas during my Year in Industry and for 4 years after uni… good memories of some very good times! Being a local lad from Medway, the daily bike rides from home to the Medway campus at Kent were also good fun!