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Opportunity in the Thames Valley

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Ross Beale graduated from the University of Reading's BSc Computer Science course in 2013. He is now the Technical Director for Airbyte, a mobile-focused digital product studio co-owned with a fellow Reading graduate, Steve Smith.

"I was attracted to Reading and the Thames Valley area as it has become synonymous with some of the world's most innovative technology companies such as Microsoft and Oracle. Being in the Thames Valley breathes opportunity."

Broad knowledge base

The course covers the fundamentals of computer science, which gave Ross a broad knowledge base. It opened up an array of potential career paths, and he honed theoretical and practical skills valued by employers.

"The course surprised me by being so practical. Every year had memorable sessions that drove home the theoretical learning, from first year programming labs to visiting the virtual reality cave in my final year."


One of the things that impressed Ross the most was the support he received during his final-year project:
 

"My supervisor and I were both really passionate about my project, and that showed in the results."


Ross found that the Department of Computer Science is also incredibly supportive of extracurricular activities and ventures.

Enhancing learning with experience

During his time at Reading, Ross undertook a summer placement on campus with Conjure, a digital agency. This experience was a turning point for him.

"Within weeks of my time there, I was working on production-level code – writing core features in mobile apps for clients. I continued working with Conjure throughout third year and joined them as soon as I graduated."

The inspiration to solve problems

While at Reading, Ross worked with fellow student Steve Smith to build an unofficial mobile application for the University. It helped students with day-to-day needs, such as accessing timetables and course information. The app's success inspired Ross's career plan.
 

"As mobile apps begin to dominate the consumer market, our app became way more popular than we had ever imagined. I knew then that creating products to solve people's problems is something I want to do. I've always been creative and love building things."

Award-winning success

Following graduation, Ross led a product team at Ecrebo before forming Airbyte with Steve – building innovative apps and websites that solve problems. As Technical Director at Airbyte, Ross works directly with some of the world's biggest brands: Kantar Worldpanel, Thales, Big Bus Tours, the NHS, London Science Museum, Jaguar Land Rover and British Airways. 

Ross is understandably proud of his achievements.

"We were featured as one of 'Fifty Game Changers in the Thames Valley'. Being recognised for inspiring the community that initially drew me to Reading is really rewarding."

Giving back

Airbyte regularly offer student placements and internships to Reading students, providing an opportunity to gain work experience in a real-world environment. Alex Christou, a University of Reading graduate, joined Airbyte for a year-long placement as Product Manager. He oversaw the products and took them from conception to completion. Alex says: 

"There are huge benefits gained from working at a small, dynamic business." 

During his placement, Alex worked on both internal and client-based projects. As a product manager he worked on a diverse range of tasks including marketing, business development and support. He is enthusiastic about his experience:

"My base level of programming was developed each day and I gained technical exposure to the projects that Ross and Steve are working on."

Read about the BSc Computer Science course

Find out more about learning through summer placements

Ieuan Higgs: improving lives through technology

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Ieuan Higgs used his passion for improving lives through technology to create a winning idea for a national competition, and used his proposal as the basis for his final-year project.

Neyma Siddiqui: embracing opportunities

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Neyma has grasped extra opportunities to learn and lead during her time at Reading. She works on projects with other students, acts as a course representative, and is President of the R. U. Hacking? society.

Jag Shergill: a game-changing placement

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Jag Shergill secured a year-long internship with Oracle, where he received an innovation award and saw some of his work rolled out company-wide.
Athena SWAN Silver Award
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