Melissa White

Graduate Engineer, Asidua

Degree Subject BSc Computing Science, University of Ulster (2011)
Job title Graduate Engineer
Employer Asidua, Belfast

A work placement year was a compulsory part of my degree, and it led to my first graduate job. My placement was with Asidua. During this time I was introduced to new programming languages and I experienced project work; in fact I enjoyed it so much that I applied for a graduate position with them. I had an hour and a half interview and was offered the job around two weeks later – all before my final year of university!

At Asidua I'm part of a team which develops software for customers. Each day I write code, correspond with managers and clients and carry out unit tests to ensure software works. Each client has specific requirements, so I regularly have to do a lot of problem-solving to tailor the product for their needs. We are placed on a project based on our individual skills and knowledge of relevant languages and programs. Right now I'm 'pair programming' with a colleague on a web-based project, integrating software using Microsoft's Biztalk server. I'm also allocated individual tasks to complete and there are opportunities to work on different projects too. It's nice to have a mixture in my working pattern.

On the completion of a project I really enjoy the feeling that all the hard work has paid off. Each project brings a new learning curve; I've got to grips with new programming languages like JavaScript and Perl. It can be hard, but I love tackling each issue that arises, and the graduates are brought up to speed with online tutorials and regular training on new program languages.

Advice for graduates

Take every opportunity to do a placement year – it's the perfect chance to try out a company and find out what suits you.

Mellissa White was interviewed for gradireland IT & Telecoms 2012.