Liam Mountford, BSc Computer Science, Graduated 2016

Studied: BSc Computer Science (Single Honours)

Graduated: 2016

Who is your current employer

Bitjam ltd. We're based in the new Innovation Centre on Keele campus and we are always looking for bright and driven students/graduates to join us on various projects.

What does your role involve?

My official title is Software Developer but being part of the tightly knit core team means I am often involved in the full design, development, and deployment cycle, which I love. Furthermore I'll take on a senior role when mentoring interns and I have also done a number of presentations on behalf of the company at Keele. I also take an active role in the future development of the business by establishing new contacts and projects.

What influenced your decision to study the course?

I initially studied Physics and Computer Science. I had always been involved in computer tech from a young age, so it seemed like the obvious choice to couple with Physics, on a dual honours course. During my first year I soon realised that Physics was a lot harder than I had expected and I had lost some of the enjoyment I got from the subject but thankfully I had picked up the Computer Science work very well, so I switched to single honours. I think this highlights the flexibility of the studies at Keele, things weren't working for me and I was able to make a change for the better.

What skills and/or experience did you gain?

From a technical perspective I learnt programming languages such as Java, C++, Python, Javascript, and many more, but in a more general sense I learned how to logically approach and solve problems with software.

What was the highlight of the course?

My 3rd year project with James Borg. I created a Neuroevolutionary algorithm that could be used to predict the way a constituency would vote in a general election based on demographic data of the area such as age distribution, number of vehicles owned, and level of education.

Being able to bring together all of the skills I had acquired throughout the course into an adventurous piece of work meant that to this day it is still one of my proudest achievements.

What did you do after graduating from Keele?

I got a 6 week internship with Bitjam thanks to Kathy England and Santander's KRISP project (you might have to check the name of it nowadays as I think it has changed), and I must have proved myself somewhat, as by the time the internship ended I was offered a full time position and I have been working with Bitjam ever since.

How did the course prepare you for your next job?

As mentioned, I learned a generalised logical approach to solving problems with software. This prepared me for my work at Bitjam because the bulk of work when I started was using MeteorJS, which I had little to no experience working with but I soon picked it up. I think most importantly I learned how to organise myself and work independently, which has helped greatly for my current role.

Were you involved in any club and societies at Keele?

I was a member of the poker society, which was really good fun, unfortunately I never won anything!