Case study

Software engineer and technical director — Dez Glidden

Dez lined up his job at Gemstone Software, a cloud technology company, after getting involved with his university's web-based enterprise project

How did you get your job?

During my final semester, I was working for the Enterprise Web Factory at Edge Hill University. One of my colleagues there was working on a side project for the managing director of a software company, who was looking for a developer. My colleague recommended me, so I met the director over coffee several times to discuss projects that I had worked on and a project that he was looking to develop.

This gave us time to get to know each other, which has now grown into a great working relationship as he offered me a job at Gemstone Software.

Without my degree I wouldn't have had the knowledge or experience necessary for my job

How relevant is your degree to your job?

It is incredibly relevant. Without it I wouldn't have had the knowledge or experience necessary to take this job opportunity.

The role I secured was for a developer, which requires a particular skill set that I gained from my web systems development degree.

What are your main work activities?

Some days include travelling to external sites, either to meet with current clients to discuss projects, or with prospective clients to understand the technical requirements of possible future work.

Following on from this, I write proposals and assess technical specifics. This is coupled with actual development work, which is where I spend the majority of my time, developing applications that have been agreed with clients.

How do you use your degree in your job?

The main project that I've been working on recently has been a business intelligence data project, requiring me to use the knowledge I gained during my degree to design and implement a database.

The development methodology that we use is SCRUM, which my degree course covered, so I was able to plan and set up the project quickly.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The variety of work, the people I work with and the clients I meet.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

Juggling such an array of tasks, which span a number of projects at any given time.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

Ideally I hope to be expanding and growing the business in New Zealand where I plan to eventually emigrate. The role would be very similar in nature except that I would be operating overseas. It would be a great opportunity for expansion and a new challenge.

Any words of advice for someone who wants to get into this job?

Explore, try different things and be resourceful. At university, a couple of us used our initiative and attended tech meet-ups, which had been arranged and publicised through social media channels, in order to meet and talk to people in industry. Through this I gained a wider perspective of career opportunities, job roles and skills that employers were looking for.