Enlightening work for recent grads

14 October 2014

Declan and Simon

University of Waikato graduates: From left, Declan ter Veer-Burke and Simon Campbell are both employed as Software Developers at Hamilton company Enlighten Designs.

University of Waikato graduates Simon Campbell and Declan ter Veer-Burke are relishing the challenges of working as Software Developers for Hamilton company Enlighten Designs.

Study background

Simon, a former Te Awamutu College student, completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Software Engineering while Declan, a former Fairfield College student, studied a Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences (Honours) majoring in Computer Science.

Software development

“My main duty as a developer is to deliver new software or add existing functionality to software for clients. My typical day involves taking specifications provided by a business analyst and building the software. This may involve making decisions about user-experience, writing tests, discussing how the solution may fit into the bigger picture and actually programming the solution,” says Simon.

“I have been privileged to work on some projects for LIC, delivering solutions that help farmers and the dairy industry. It’s amazing when you can understand how the software you’re building benefits people.”

Solving problems

Declan is enjoying turning customers’ ideas into working software. “I work with my team to decode our customers’ needs, and write code to solve their problems. One of my favourite recent projects has been a piece of human resources software. What made it exciting was that we used some cool new technologies and ways of programming, which helped us to build a great product for the customer, easily and quickly. It’s exciting to imagine where the technology will take us in the future,” says Declan.

Practical projects and work placements

Simon says that the practical projects and summer work placements as part of the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) put him in the ideal position to find a job when graduating.

“During the degree I learned a lot about formal terminology and computer science concepts which allows me to communicate with other developers and understand technical concepts quickly. Also the work placements I had at Cisco and Datacom meant I got the chance to see what I did and didn’t enjoy in industry, which helped me to find my career direction,” says Simon.

Declan also made the most of the practical projects available during study. “I completed a directed study computer science paper which provided useful experience in learning the vital lesson of how to work with a client to understand their goals and then develop software to fit their requirements. As the project was a team effort, I also had the opportunity to see how other developers code and to work cooperatively with them,” says Declan.

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