- Course: Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence MEng, BSc
- Job title: Software Engineering Intern
- Company: Shout Platform Ltd.
What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?
Shout Platform Ltd is a Manchester-based start-up company focused on developing Shout - a real-time, location-based mobile platform aiming to improve the experience of living in a big city.
What is your role within the company?
The best part of working at a start-up is that your job title often covers only a fraction of what you actually do. My main focus is on front-end mobile development and web development but I also work a lot with graphics and design. I even do things completely unrelated to software engineering, such as video editing and marketing.
Can you give me an insight into a typical day?
There is no typical day at Shout. Our schedule keeps changing so we have to be very flexible. Of course, most of the time I work on the application, but even that includes a variety of tasks - coding, design and graphics. It is not unusual for me to work on multiple different things in just one day but there are also times when implementing one feature takes a few days.
What do you enjoy the most and do you get involved in any interesting projects?
What I like the most is how dynamic the start-up environment is. It is challenging and rewarding and you never get bored. I also really like the fact that every team member gets to make decisions which will shape the end-product. You get a lot of freedom in choosing your tasks but it comes with a lot of responsibility. For example, I designed the profile page for Shout and soon I became the only person responsible for design and development of that crucial part of the application. I also suggested we need a product website which became a big side project which I was entirely responsible for.
Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?
It seemed like a natural thing to do. It was a good way to boost my CV, gain a lot of experience and secure a job after my graduation. Most of all, I was excited to finally join the professional world and work on big projects. It's an amazing way to test yourself and improve your skills.
What do you think you have got out of this experience so far?
To say I’ve improved my skills wouldn't do it justice. I was expecting to learn a lot, especially because I had never worked with mobile apps before, but the actual experience has been so much better. I now feel very confident in the skills I didn't even have when I joined Shout. It also helped me discover new things I never considered or expected to be good at. I think a very unique aspect of this placement is that everyone knows everything about the current situation and plans of the company which taught me a lot about business, marketing strategies and the realities of running a start-up.
Do you have any tips and advice for current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?
I would advise you to consider applying for smaller companies or start-ups. In a small team you get to have a say in important matters, you get given much more responsibility and you get to work closely with people who are in charge. Bear in mind a placement like that is much more challenging, but in my opinion it is definitely worth it.