We’re now half way through the Software Development course and Phil certainly knew how to pull out all the stops for this milestone! This week we visited two companies based at The Core, a build owned by Newcastle University built on the site of The Old Brewery. The first company we had the pleasure of meeting was Cloud Data Service – a team of 4 who build websites for clients. Tom Lloyd (the director) talked us through how the company worked and how he had founded it. They were working on a connected Internet of Things application but the details were secret so they couldn’t go into too much detail. Nonetheless, it was a fascinating talk! We had the opportunity to hear about how the company started from humble beginnings and how they go about hiring new members of staff – a great way to find out what qualities we need to follow this career path.
The other company we visited is called SoPost – the company which Phil works for. It is a medium sized company which aims to support big brands in increasing engagement of their sample based marketing. The premise is that someone can sign up for a sample but they have to send one to a friend first. This helps to reach a lot of potential customers and significantly increases the success of these campaigns. We spoke to Jamie Curle who is the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at SoPost. He emphasised that ‘if you get into software development because of your passion for coding, it can be hard working your way up into a management role. You don’t get to indulge your love of coding as much because your job becomes more about managing people’. This was an interesting insight for us to figure out exactly where on the industry hierarchy we want to be. Is the business head what we want, or just the ability to thrive in Software Development alone? It was something that I’ve never really considered before and thus has sparked many considerations in terms of my future career.
Later on, the group each made a game in Python using the PyGame library. They had to be Halloween themed because they were to be displayed at the Code Monsters event on the following Saturday. Code Monsters is a yearly event which encourages young children to engage with technology and is run by Tech For Life. It was nerve-wrecking to essentially showcase my work to a larger audience but equally exciting to fully immerse myself in the mini-project. The awareness of this game being presented to others gave me that extra boost to make something that firstly appeals to the young target audience but also making something that makes me proud and confident in my ability.
I look forward to Saturday’s event and fingers crossed my attempts to create a game will be a success. A huge thank you to the various guest speakers this week who have given me that motivation to see my future in a broader perspective. See you in week 5!