Monday, 25 October 2010

Java (High Level Concurrency) tutorial

Just worked through the last part of the online Java Concurrency tutorial. Understood the java.util.concurrent.locks package (i.e. Lock, Reentrant etc classes including trylock(), unlock() etc methods) and java.util.concurrent.atomic package (i.e. AtomicInteger etc classes including incrementAndGet(), decrementAndGet() etc methods). Didn't quite get the stuff about Executors and Thread Pools! Also, couldn't do the Questions at the end of the tutorial so there's a clear sign I need more practice!!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Java Concurrency (Synchronization, Liveness, Guarded Blocks) tutorial

Just continued with the second third of the online Java Concurrency tutorial playing in particular with the 'synchronized' keyword and the wait()/notify() methods of the Object class.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Java Concurrency (Processes and Threads) tutorial

Just worked through the first two parts of the online Java Concurrency Tutorial ('Processes and Threads', 'Thread Objects'). Learnt about the Thread class versus the Runnable interface (including the run()/start() methods) as well as the sleep(), interrupt(), join() methods and the InterruptedException class.

Job found...

... alhamdulillah! Got a job with Kickstart Digital. Set to start early January insha-Allah. Lots to learn!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Job hunting

Spent a few weeks researching a few companies (Reuters, Autonomy and Accenture notably) and realised it was just taking too long to research companies, apply for a job etc so stuck my CV up last Monday afternoon and I've had back to back calls from recruitment agencies. I've had a few tests/interviews already (with Corefiling, Gloucester Research, Kickstart Digital, Civil Service Technology in Business Fast Stream, Metaswitch, OpenSymmetry) and I'm realising how poor my computing/programming industry knowledge is! If I don't get something by mid next week I'm going to take a time-out for a month or two and get my computing/programming knowledge/abilities up to scratch insha-Allah.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Governmental uses of technology

eDemocracy - e.g. the websites run by mySociety.org (TheyWorkForYou, FixMyStreet etc).

Opening up government data - e.g. data.gov.uk.

Digital data storage/preservation.

(Note: Post still in progress.)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Insight Onsite Tessella Placement write-up

As part of the agreement for participation in the Insight Onsite programme just wrote a short case study about my experience of the placement to go up on Imperial College Careers Service's website, as follows:
The Insight Onsite placement for me was an opportunity to brush up on my software development skills knowing I wanted to move into a software engineering role following completion of my PhD. Moreover, almost four years on from my previous industrial work placement it was an opportunity to get some fresh experience down on my CV and to talk about at forthcoming job interviews.

My work placement was with Tessella Plc, an international technology and consultancy firm specialising in R&D. The placement was conducted four days a week over a period of five weeks, allowing me one day a week to continue with PhD commitments. I was delegated a well-defined self-contained assignment as part of a larger project (The Mantid Project) based at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Didcot, Oxfordshire aimed at providing a platform which supports high-performance computing on neutron and muon data. The particular assignment delegated to me involved building a central repository system (client- and server- side) by means of HTML, Python, Python Server Pages, MySQL, JavaScript and Subversion (revision control system) for scientists to share and search scripts/algorithms as part of the Mantid Project. The work involved learning and applying the necessary technologies with the help of colleagues as well as working closely with the project manager to ensure user requirements were correctly understood and met within allocated time.

As part of the placement I was also given the opportunity to meet and speak with various teams/employees at Tessella’s head office in Abingdon, Oxfordshire to get a broader understanding of the various technology roles on offer and I was even granted the opportunity to sit in on meetings with clients and senior management, which was greatly beneficial. All in all, the placement was a positive experience which I would strongly recommend and which I am thoroughly glad to have partaken in.