Jessica Henry – BSc (Hons) in Software Development
Name: Jessica Henry
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to choosing Software Development in ATU Sligo?
I am a Brazilian living in Ireland for approximately three years. In Brazil, I graduated from a Business and Accounting degree. I arrived in Ireland at the beginning of the pandemic, and as everything was very unpredictable, I decided to start studying Computing in ATU Sligo. During the first year of the degree I fell in love with programming. As all ATU Sligo degrees have a common first year, it really helped me figure out what I was passionate about. At the start of Year 2, I decided to specialise in Software Development.
What specifically about the degree do you particularly enjoy?
The classes are small, which means you easily get to know all of your lecturers and classmates. The degree is hands-on, which makes learning more interesting and fun. We complete a lot of projects, which is of great benefit to our professional portfolio of work when we graduate.
What is the best thing about Software Development that you think new applicants should know?
In Year 3, we have a paid work placement and our supervisor helps us to source our ideal company. This can be in Ireland or in another European country. We also received a class focused on professional development, where we focused on building our CV and how to be successful in interviews. All of my friends already have their placement sorted for the next summer.
What are your favourite modules on the degree?
I enjoy all programming modules, programming 1 and 2, OOP, Rad and Web Development. It is very rewarding to understand and build a system both front-end and back-end. Another module I really enjoyed was Cloud Development as we covered a lot of content during the term. We were able to create a cloud architecture using AWS, which was really interesting to see how it all worked.
If you were speaking with a first year, student about to start Software Development, what advice would you give them?
Show up yo all of your labs as they help you learn programming. When you complete work or a project, share it on your GitHub as you will see your progress and you will be proud of it. Learn to manage your time as it will help you finish your continuous assessments and study for exams. Make a lot of friends and share what you know. Also help others – teaching is a great skill in our field. In the summer, continue your learning and gain extra certifications and knowledge.
Tell us about your role as a Student Ambassador
Being a student ambassador helped me to improve my communication skills. Beforehand, I was quite embarrassed to talk to people. It also helped me to make friends.
What are your plans after ATU Sligo and any long term goals you are aiming for?
Getting a full-time job is my priority after university and I know this degree will ensure that. I also want to continue getting more certifications. As technology is always evolving, continual learning will always be a part of this profession.
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