Tom’s Year in Industry at Cervus

I started my placement with Cervus in August 2020 as part of the Engineering Design Trusts Year in Industry (YINI) Scheme. As part of this scheme, I have worked for Cervus for a year and had the pleasure of learning about the craft and industry that I wish to follow a career in surrounded by the amazing Cervus team.

Tom Hurford – Cervus

I am extremely grateful for the opportunities and responsibilities that Cervus gave me in my time here. I have learned about many core technologies and skills that I had not experienced before such as: proper GIT branching, AWS Cloud management, and Linux. On a smaller scale I have been able to learn new programming languages/improve my skills in existing languages. Learning to work in different development environments with tools such as Docker, Vue.js, and Flask (to mention a few) are major skills that I can take into the future.

Broadening horizons

I have worked in all areas of the company to some degree. In the marketing department I aided in creating a short advert for vI/ITSEC showing off our dashboard metrics. With the bids team I have been able to contribute by creating mock front ends using design programs like Figma to visualise conceptual ideas to present to project leads. As part of the development team I have been involved of almost every stage of the development process from ideation, to planning and scoping projects all the way to creating products for consumers and developing on feedback.

My knowledge and experience have not just increased on a technical scale. I have learned a lot personally through working with the great people at Cervus. Their drive, motivation and commitment has pushed me to improve throughout the year. My time management, planning, project skills and collaboration skills have all been put to the test and improved upon by working with the amazing people around me. I have not felt at all that my position as a junior software engineer has limited who I can speak to and collaborate with. Cervus provides a brilliant environment where all ideas and comments are accepted and encouraged no matter who they come from.

International Exposure

Working in a relatively small dev team has meant that I have been able to involve myself in lots of projects and gain experience in the many different types of work that a software engineer may face. I have had the pleasure of working alongside some of the team at Stucan Analytics in America and working with them on demo work for the USMC project that is currently underway.  When I started my placement, I was tasked with collecting and analysing eye tracking data as part of the VRLT project. This challenged my mathematical skills that I had from university and my programming ability in a new language almost the first day on the job. The fast pace atmosphere has really helped to push me to work to the best of my ability.

YINI Scheme – and onwards

I really recommend the YINI scheme; they were massively helpful in creating my CV, helping me find a placement.  They provided me (and other YINI’s) with 1 to 1 support and lectures throughout the year in key areas such as project management and mindfulness.

I have a place to attend Kings College London in September of 2021 to study towards an MSci in Computer Science (hopefully specialising in AI) and I think that all the skills, knowledge and networking that I have developed at Cervus will help with university and my career into the future. Thank you all for all your help!

It has been amazing having Tom on the team; enthusiastic, motivated and a pleasure to work with, he has fitted in seamlessly from the start.  We have benefitted from his quick-thinking, mathematically minded, communicative approach.  He has flourished in his time with us, and will no doubt excel on his degree course at KCL.  Their gain is our loss, and I know that we will all miss him when he leaves us soon.  Thanks for everything you’ve done Tom – good luck with the future!

Paddy Little – Technical Director