Career

Interests > Education >

I undertook a placement year as part of my undergraduate course. During my year at Plymouth Marine Laboratory I worked to recreate their GISPortal using modern JavaScript practices, with an emphasis on modularity and maintainability. I was also able to learn about drone technology, material science, and marine biology. I have also been employed part-time at Birdworld (a bird zoo) and Argos, both in my hometown.

Working at Plymouth Marine Laboratory exposed me to aspects of web development that were not covered in my degree, including Node.js, Handlebars HTML, ES6 and transpiling, SASS CSS, and my favourite, D3. D3 was particularly interesting to me, as it was very powerful and versatile once I understood it, but very unlike standard JavaScript programming.

I am currently looking for a job where I could apply my skills to something which would truly benefit the world, particularly in terms of contributing to the UN Sustainable Development goals. I think computing is a sector which can have a great impact on improving people's lives, and would love the chance to be involved in a worthy project. I also have ideas of starting my own company in the future, but am currently planning to get some experience working in an established startup first.


PML Applications Ltd.
Retail experience

PML Applications Ltd.

July 2017 - May 2018

For the year in industry component of my degree, I was employed at PML Applications, a private sister company to Plymouth Marine Laboratory. My roles mostly revolved around web development, working on the recreation of their GISPortal, a data visualisation site, which is now called Geona. I also co-chaired the sports and social club.

Main responsibilities

JavaScript ES6 - Prior to doing my placement, my JavaScript knowledge was fairly basic, and quite out of date. ES6 was completely new to me in terms of JavaScript, but its classes, import/export functionality and scoping controls (in the form of arrow functions and the 'let' declaration) were instantly more familiar to me than the less clearly-structured writing style I was taught previously.

ES6 also introduced me to the concept of transpiling and minifying. We used Babel to do this. I hadn't really considered the fact that JavaScript even got updated before - it also made me realise how much consideration needs to be put into making a site compatible across many browsers.

D3.js - One key piece of functionality for the portal was a timeline which allows the user to view multiple datasets synchronously throughout time. After a short time experimenting with JavaScript timeline libraries, I decided to use D3 version 4 to recreate the timeline from the old portal (a previous version of D3 had been used for that). Despite its steep learning curve, I came to really enjoy using D3, and appreciate its power and flexibility.

Geographic Information System (GIS) - In order to make the portal as versatile as possible, we supported a wide range of GIS layer types, including WMS, WMTS, WCS, and SOS. This involved writing custom parsers for each layer, in order to normalise or convert the data into a format the portal could handle.

We used OpenLayers and Leaflet to display the maps, which not only gave me experience using these technologies, but also in writing and maintaining code which would function with the same code, despite the two mapping libraries having different APIs.

Other roles

Sports and social club - I took the role of co-chair of PML's sports and social club, helping to revive it from a group with no real presence to an active part of working at the lab. Before I joined there were only two events per year, and a couple of sports groups, but finding information on how to join them was difficult. Thanks to the work of the committee (four of us in total) we boosted the presence of the group, organising four well-received major events as well as supporting smaller groups within the lab to put on their own events (such as a free breakfast on cycle to work day). We also had volunteers for the creation of new sports clubs within the lab. By the time I left, a large notice board was displaying the information on events, leaderboards, clubs and groups within the lab, and I feel proud to have played such a successful role in rekindling this area of the lab so strongly.

CMAE helpdesk - I had a small role in a helpdesk contract providing support for the use of data from different sensors on the EU's Sentinel-3 satellite, a part of the Copernicus programme. My role was simply to ensure the sensor experts promptly received email queries, and to inform and reply to the client when their questions had been answered. I also maintained a spreadsheet of the questions we were asked to emable statistic tracking.

Retail experience

Prior to starting university, I was employed on a part-time basis in customer-facing roles by two companies in my hometown.

Birdworld

June - August 2015

My job at Birdworld, a wildlife park just outside my hometown, involved selling tickets, food and merchandise to the park’s visitors. We were also expected to be able to accurately inform customers about the day’s shows and events. This required a good memory and a cheerful attitude and was an enjoyable experience over the summer.

Argos

November/December 2014

At Argos, I was employed to help deal with the increased trade over the Christmas period. This involved making sure customers were assisted in a timely fashion, whilst ensuring they received the correct goods from the stock room. Working at Argos gave me experience working accurately under pressure, whilst remaining helpful and polite with the customers.