Jamie Element

What is the name of the company you work for and what is your role?

I work as an Applications Developer, Web Developer and Programmer at CareFree Management Limited –management software providors for private care companies. 

Can you please give me an insight into a typical day?

I build websites for clients, which allows them to configure our company's management software, for their business, remotely. Day to day I write ASP, C#, Javascript, AJAX and SQL code to add functionality to the website. This can be optimisations for the website, improvements or even completely new functionality. The website is consumer driven, and any bugs, fixes or improvements that can be made are often suggested by clients. It is my job to add these to the website, as well as my own creative input to the website. 

What are you enjoying the most and are you involved in any interesting projects?

I am enjoying the experience of learning and growing within the field of Information Technology. I have learned how to make a detailed and functional website and have enjoyed working in an office environment. The company I am working for are going through a stage of improvement – attempting to rewrite a lot of their current software to keep up with today’s requirements. I feel that my website has contributed to this improvement, by adding a new dimension to the way that customers can use CareFree software. Allowing web access via my website gives customers the benefit of some of the features of CareFree software without installing a full software package, and the freedom to access it almost anywhere.

Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?

Ideally, I wanted to write programs for desktop computers. I shied away from web development because I did not think it was my strong point. This year has changed my views on web development significantly. Although I haven’t been writing desktop programs, I have learned about web programming, and broadened my scope on what programming can be used for. So, in many ways, I am doing what I wanted to do, I just didn’t realise it at the time!

What are you hoping to get out of this experience? 

Learning and understanding. It may sound formulaic, but it couldn’t be more true. Before you apply, you hear a lot of stories about how great placements are and how much people learned. I found myself sceptical, thinking that it just benefits employers. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I have grown and changed as a person so much so far, and have never felt so positive about my life and career outlook. The structure of university can sometimes make you feel pressured and critically assessed, and can make you doubt yourself. Working for a company, and having them give you positive feedback everyday on your work builds confidence like nothing else. Being useful, in the real world, and making an impact is so rewarding. 

Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?

Absolutely go for it. It can be hard sometimes to get into a placement. You may have to apply for more than you would like, and at times you may be rejected but at the end of the day it will be worth it.