On 12th May 2014, I finished my last exam. Everybody was getting ready to start their jobs or taking some time off.
I however, have chosen to pursue a freelance career, using my Web Applications Development degree and the knowledge I have gained while studying, in the hope I can start my own business in the future.
This is just a small recap on my Plymouth University experience.
The first year was great! I moved from Glastonbury, Somerset to Plymouth. Plymouth’s a lively city and was a good opportunity for me to enjoy myself before I had to enter what some people call “the real world”.
It was difficult at first having never really left home so there was a pretty long adjusting period. Luckily I moved to Plymouth with a friend and we ended up living with some fantastic people who made my University experience amazing.
The second year was just as good as the first! I stayed with the same people I had lived with before so it was familiar territory. Plus we had a roof terrace which meant we could enjoy the sun (when it appeared).
The year also involved the not so fun task of finding a placement. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy. It’s not just about finding a placement. It’s about finding a placement that suits you or interests you and can push you and help you learn something from within a real working environment. I was incredibly lucky on this front as I found a great placement and just in time, I was getting ready to give up when I got the call telling me I was hired!
The year also involved my first web and creative event called Digpen. It was recommended by Daniel Groves, a friend and fellow student on Web Applications Development. Dan wrote a great article on the event which was based in Plymouth that year. At first I was apprehensive but I really enjoyed it.
Year 3 was all about the placement. It was so much fun and I can’t recommend doing a placement year enough. You can read more on that in the post I wrote just after finishing my placement year at Rokk Media.
I also managed to find the time to go to that years Digpen conference, this time hosted at the Eden Project, Cornwall. As well as Digpen, myself and Daniel Groves were invited to go to Agile on the beach. This was an incredibly intense weekend of learning but still great fun.
The final year is what it all boils down to. It’s the pinnacle of a degree and when you need to be in overdrive if you want to achieve highly. When you look back on it, you can see why the module choices were what they were and why, at the time, some weren’t satisfied.
I spent a ridiculous amount of time on my work through this year so I could achieve a good grade, which paid off. It showed that a little hard work does actually get recognised.
My final year project was a car enthusiast community named Coilover which I intend on working on more in the future so it’s ready to be sent out into the wild. It allowed me to work with many technologies, frameworks and workflows I had picked up over the years and also some that were new to me. The main aim was to refine the process so that it could be created a quickly and cleanly as possible. In stereotypical final year project style, it didn’t go exactly to plan but still achieved what I had originally set out to do.
It’s sad to think it’s all over now, but also quite nice. I can sleep at a reasonable time and wake up at a reasonable time. I can have evenings and weekends free to do as I please. If given the choice to do it all over again, I would! I wouldn’t even need to think about it. Yes it’s hard, yes its busy, but it’s an experience I think everybody should have and deserves.