Industrial Placement at ARC

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For a University student used to leisurely starts, the prospect of starting work at 9am on a Monday morning was rather alien, however, after a strong coffee, I was soon awake and ready to complete the day’s work with enthusiasm.

I have worked as a part of Advanced Research Computing for 3 months and the experience has been unforgettable. The Team has been extremely friendly and the work interesting. The different teams are very interconnected resulting in a very pleasant working environment where you have a good understanding of what everyone is doing.

My first task involved extracting the data from the ‘BlueBEAR Applications’ website and storing it in an organized format. Then, using this data I had to create a new and improved website with search functionality and filtering. The goal of this project was to make the information on a particular application easier to access. This project was the first time I had used Django – a Python web framework, however everyone was very supportive and willing to offer guidance when requested.

From time to time, I also attend the POD Inductions aimed at informing research students about the services we offer. These events allow me to get out of the office and meet people who use the services we update/maintain. It is a nice change of pace from the typical 9-5 in the office.

The job has allowed me to attend multiple training sessions including the BEAR Necessities training course. I have also attended both a computer simulation symposium and an AI/quantum computer symposium. Since that latter event, I have been given the opportunity to further improve my knowledge by working through the IBM quantum computer training course which has taught me a great deal about IBM’s quantum computing, including, but not limited to, the internal components of the quantum computer, the importance of qubits, and the relevance of superposition and quantum entanglement in a quantum computer. I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in the future of quantum computing checks out IBM’s resources.

The world of a research software engineer/system admin is not something I have previously experienced; however following this placement, it is a career path that I will definitely consider.