Adam Farmer – BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate

Current Employer: Sophos

Current Job Title: Software Engineer 3

Current Location: Abingdon, Oxfordshire

“Studying at Plymouth allowed me to fine-tune my ideal career path by choosing modules throughout the year that I both enjoyed and could apply to future roles. This allowed me to find the perfect job.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

Before I had even graduated, and in the weeks following my graduation, I was inundated with interviews and offers for very lucrative roles, giving me the chance to tailor my career path to my needs and desires by choosing the right role for me. After taking the role as a Graduate Software Engineer, I was swiftly promoted to Software Engineer Level 2; a year later I was promoted again to Software Engineer Level 3. My progression doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. I give credit to the careers centre at the University for helping me to find the right job for me.

How has your degree helped/influenced your career path?

My degree gave me the skillset I needed to be able to undertake a large spectrum of job opportunities; I was amazed at how many offers I got because of it. It allowed me to search out a career path that I would enjoy doing and also gave me the ability to adapt my skillset to multiple projects in the workplace without having prior experience in that area. Plymouth taught me an adaptive way of thinking.

Has your career path changed since graduation?

Since graduation I have been happily working in the same role because I enjoy it so much. I believe that this was down to me using those early job role opportunities, sorting through them and choosing what I knew would be best for me. With the help of the careers centre at the University, coupled with my own research, I found the right job and I believe that I will stay here for many years to come.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Working in a security company, we’re strongly focused on the security and quality of the products we produce; although at times it’s difficult grasping all this information, it can also be a blessing as it improves my industry skills greatly.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

For me this would be teaching any graduates, interns, or new starters in my team. Since I have a greater understanding of my job, I have been given the task on many occasions of teaching those who have just joined the basics of this job. This, I believe, is a very useful tool, improving my communication skills and it also gives me the chance to teach interns and graduates skills that they’ll use later on in their careers. I think this is fascinating, watching people succeed with your guidance.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?

Join more of the student clubs; they were always fun, but there was so much you could do.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

Find a module that you truly enjoy, find a job role similar to that, and work wont feel like work! But always keep your options open so that your career path can be easily applied elsewhere.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Studying at Plymouth allowed me to fine-tune my ideal career path by choosing modules throughout the year that I both enjoyed and could apply to future roles. This allowed me to find the perfect job without having to reapply my skills or become stuck somewhere I didn’t want to be. The choice was everything to me and I really enjoyed that part of University.

What lessons/skills did you gain from your course?

All of the modules I studied allowed me to develop a set of versatile skills that can be applied to many different software engineering and development roles. This is because of the broader spectrum of programming methods and languages that where learnt, allowing me to understand new languages even easier.

Do you stay in touch with other Plymouth University alumni or lecturers?

Yes, I have kept in touch with Dr Nigel Barlow who was my lecturer for about four years and always kept the atmosphere relaxed and entertaining.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

Definitely, as it has a vibrant student atmosphere and provides great opportunities for your future career.