Tag Archives: education

Phoenix

Rise Like a Phoenix

Okay, so I’m not as gorgeous or fabulous as Conchita Wurst, but the past few months have been pretty uplifting so sorry not sorry.  A lot has happened since I last blogged back, dear reader – so much so that I regret not finding the time to blog about everything. However, there’s plenty more to come!

Hello world…

After my last post swithering whether to stick my Honours year out or not, the decision was made when my tentative investigation of the job market resulted in me landing a very nice role as a trainee cloud engineer for an Edinburgh based bank.  Sometimes I still can’t believe how lucky I’ve been – I have a great job with plenty of opportunities to progress and develop my skillset through training and certification, my boss and the team I work with are fantastic people and there’s a Costa Coffee on site.  Not many people can say they are looking forward to getting to work when the alarm goes off in the morning, so I consider myself very lucky.

I honestly thought I’d never end up in fintech, thinking it would be a bit stale and boring, but from the start I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the huge amount of thought and creativity that goes into building solid, responsive and secure banking systems with the customer very much in mind using AWS and associated automation tools.  There’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure.

Ah yes, AWS.  After a year of Azure and the Microsoft stack, flipping over to Amazon’s offering has been two months of retraining the old noggin and revising my Linux knowhow.  Most of what we do is Linux based, but strangely enough I’ve already gotten a reputation as being the Microsoft person and am currently working on a Windows project.  It was inevitable, I suppose!

…cheerio academia

Someone asked me recently if I regret leaving university at all.

My answer?  No.

I’m still confident I made the right choice and am very happy with my BEng with distinction.  I was genuinely looking forward to my Honours project, however, which was going to be a wireless mesh network built with Raspberry Pi Zeros, but enthusiasm for my other fourth year modules was pretty much non-existent.  Most of my fellow students who also went out on placement told me they were struggling with their enthusiasm too and many of them have also found jobs and left uni.

I suspect that having to do four and a half years for an Honours degree instead of the usual four is too much for many – I also admit that I struggled with the thought of having to wait until December to finish.  We all knew that going on placement would extend our degrees, but I guess the reality and implications didn’t really hit us until we’d returned to uni.  Still, when I announced that I was withdrawing my lecturers were very supportive.

The future is bright

So, there you have it.  I’ve emerged blinking into the world of work after three and a bit years of study, clutching a degree in one hand and a mug of coffee in the other.  Mission accomplished, I reckon.  Whatever the future holds, I’m ready – my job is great, I enjoy what I do and like that phoenix I’m ready to keep rising.

First week back

Ah, it’s good to be back at uni after four weeks off!

A lot of my free time has been taken up by sorting out my timetable and reading up on resources and study materials.  I’ve also been busy with my student rep duties and preparing for the Lovelace Colloquium (you don’t want to know how many times I typed that word until I was happy with the spelling) with the lovely Hazel Hall.

This semester sees us moving away from doing the same modules to starting on the core modules for our individual courses.  I miss many of my friends already, but I’m also enjoying getting properly stuck into the (metaphorical) meat of my course (I’m a vegetarian).  Today was spent quite productively mucking around with the likes of ipconfig and tracert and wondering if the website we were all pinging thought it was under a DDoS attack.

On a more personal note, this week also saw us welcoming a new addition to the family:

Betty

Betty is a Lab X Collie from the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home and is absolutely mental, but is also very loving and has settled in really well.  Her owners sadly had to give her up when they moved house so we are fortunate that she came to us with basic training and house manners.  However, Betty does tend to pull on the lead as she’s always desperate to have a good run across the fields, but I daren’t let her loose just yet as I’m not sure she’d come back!  I blame the rabbit warrens dotted all over the place…

Joining the BCS

As of today I’m a proud member of the British Computer Society, hurray!  As I’m a student it only costs £50 for four years of membership and after browsing the benefits of joining I think that it’s definitely money well spent.  It’s made me feel really grown up, joining a chartered institution…

I’m particularly looking forward to my first BCS Women Scotland event in February.  I’m a member of the Connect group at uni and thoroughly enjoy our meetings, so I’m really looking forward to joining a similar group with wider connections.  It also gives me a chance to tell everyone what a lovely university Napier is!