I finished university a year ago, and was lucky enough to get a job that was actually related to my degree (they have the same title, funnily enough), and before I’d graduated. Quite a few people I know on my course had managed the same thing, however, and this was despite us all being told “there’s no jobs, you’ll all struggle”. That doesn’t seem to be the case for Software Engineers, or it wasn’t this time last year, at least.
As mentioned above, I got a job doing what my degree was in – in this case, Software Engineering. The project I’m currently working on is using C# / .NET 4 with SQL Server, so a complete Microsoft technology stack. I don’t mind this, I know I’m a big advocate of Ubuntu, but that doesn’t mean I’d refuse to work for a company that uses MS tools…especially when that’s where a lot of the jobs were . I think one of the things that helped me get this job was the fact that I wrote my final year project in C# – I designed and wrote a helpdesk system which had a PHP web page to submit tickets, and then a C# desktop client for support teams to use behind the scenes, all of which was working from a MySQL database. Looking back at it now, in all its WinForms and code-behind glory, it certainly wasn’t the best bit of software ever
I’ve learned a lot in the year I’ve been out of university, particularly about C# and WPF/Silverlight (XAML and data binding being the main thing, when compared to WinForms). I decided recently that I’d try and rewrite the desktop client in WPF following an MVVM pattern, and see how different the application is from my final year project. There’s 2 key differences here – the first is that at university, I had a deadline, other coursework, and a report to write on top of this; I now have no deadline, I could take 3 years doing it if I really wanted to. The 2nd difference is that for university, I was motivated to do it, because I wanted to do well; now I don’t have as much motivation because I spend all day coding at work, so I don’t always want to do it in my free time. I guess the reason I’m writing this blog post is so that I may have to publicly acknowledge that I gave up if that happens…
One plus of rewriting it now is that I have an excuse to try out C# 5 and .NET 4.5 – as a self proclaimed geek/nerd (take your pick of word), trying out some new technology is always something I want to do, finding an excuse to actually use it for more than 5 minutes is a bit more difficult.