Nicholas Garner

Personal profile

I am a creative and motivated Computer Science graduate from The University of Manchester, working as a Graduate Developer at BBC Future Media in Salford. I have a passion for the successful design, development and delivery of software and web applications and a proven professional and academic track record.

Work experience

Summer 2013: Software Developer, Department of Computer Science, The University of Manchester

  • Contributed to the development of a series of laboratory exercises for the understanding of ATDD/TDD.
  • Achieved thorough working knowledge of a number of agile practices through directed work and independent research and experimentation, including user stories, specification by example, incremental development, automated acceptance testing, unit testing and test-driven development.
  • Provided extensive critical feedback using excellent verbal and written communication skills to inform the development of the laboratory resources.

Summer 2011: Crick Software Ltd, Northampton

  • Returned to continue work in software development with similar responsibilities as previously (see below).
  • Coached a colleague in the use of an in-house development tool as part of a handover of responsibilities.

2004–2010: Project Manager, Crick Software Ltd, Northampton

  • Fast progression from a basic role to Technical Project Manager reporting to Managing Director.
  • Developed excellent communication skills, team-working mentality, capacity for independent working, taking responsibility for my work and being proactive with decisions and questions.
  • Responsibilities included:
    • Working with teams to brainstorm and determine functionality and user interface for software and websites, and writing detailed specification documents for developers based on those decisions.
    • Liaising closely with developers on software and website development, including decision making, troubleshooting and stipulating development priorities, and reporting project progress to management.
    • Evaluating builds against specification documents and testing, logging and following up issues.
    • Liaising with contracted companies and coordinating, approving and integrating their work, for example in product internationalisation.
    • Developing and maintaining technical resources such as spellcheckers, databases and documentation.

Education

2011–present: The University of Manchester, BSc (Hons) Computer Science

  • Received full immersion and insight into the fundamentals of many areas of Computer Science.
  • Undertook self-proposed final-year project developing a tool to facilitate the rostering of healthcare staff.
  • Achieved average module result of 84%, including Object Orientated Programming (87%), Distributed Computing (89%), Databases (88%), Computation (96%), Machine Learning (81%), Algorithms (79%), Symbolic AI (98%), Software Engineering (83%).
  • Developed programming skills in languages including Object-Oriented Java, C, ARM assembly code, PHP and MySQL though laboratory exercises with an average mark of 95%.
  • Refined logical thinking skills and ability to design, implement and rigorously test solutions.
  • Improved leadership, self-motivation and peer-coaching skills through group projects.
  • Awarded three prizes for excellent academic performance:
    • Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, awarded to the top 0.5% of students in each graduating year reflecting the exceptional performance of the individual graduates during their degree.
    • Williams/Kilburn Medal, awarded to a student of exceptional distinction whose performance throughout their undergraduate course has been of outstanding merit.
    • Golden Anniversary Prize, awarded for excellence in first year studies

2010–2011: The University of Manchester, Science Foundation Year

  • Mix of A level equivalent maths and science modules. Achieved average module result of 87%.
  • Participation in group project developed problem solving and flexibility to manage changing circumstances due to group members leaving the project.

1998–2003: Northampton School for Boys

  • A level: Computing (C) Maths (E) Psychology (E); AS level: English Language (B)
  • GCSE: 10 (3A*, 4A, 2B, 1C) including Maths, Science and English

Extracurricular activities

2010–present: Website Secretary, The University of Manchester Hiking Club

  • Elected to committee position in 2011 and re-elected in 2012, 2013.
  • Responsible for maintaining and extending the club website:
    • Implementation of professional looking website front end in liaison with Publicity Secretary.
    • Development of new functionality and content, including content management system.
    • Maintaining content and administrating wiki, gallery and mailing list plugins.
  • Participating in club activities including weekly meetings, hikes and socials.

2006–present: Webmaster, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church

  • Developed a bespoke CMS from the ground up using PHP and MySQL, including content management, blogs, online church magazine, sermon recordings, live service broadcasts and email shots.
  • Worked in conjunction with church members, including a graphic designer, to determine requirements, design the website, implement functionality and maintain content.

2010–2011: Secretary, Halls of Residence Residents' Association

  • Recorded and distributed minutes of Residents' Association meetings.
  • Attended weekly meetings to discuss and plan activities, working with in-residence tutors.
  • Jointly responsible for a budget of over £8000 to spend on social events, activities, trips and equipment.

2003–2008: Boys' Brigade

  • Awarded the Queen’s Badge, the highest award available to members of this youth organisation, recognising practical and leadership skills and voluntary work in the community.
  • After being a member I served as a voluntary leader for several years planning, organising and running programmes of activities for young people, coordinating other leaders and partaking in youth camps.

Additional skills and interests

Computing and IT:

  • Self-taught skills in PHP, MySQL, HTML and CSS to a sufficient standard to produce professional looking and functional websites (see above), and reinforced by university first year group project.
  • Familiar with Java, C, OpenGL, from degree modules, and concepts including object orientated programming, generics, polymorphism, recursion, design patterns, dynamic programming, linear programming and algorithm design and complexity.
  • Exposure to other languages such as Python, ARM assembly code, Prolog, MATLAB, Verilog.
  • Extensive experience using and managing Atlassian JIRA issue and bug tracking software.
  • Experience with Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Unix based operating systems.
  • Experience using Apache Subversion and Git versioning and revision control systems.
  • Excellent knowledge of all office-type applications and a typing speed of 60 words-per-minute.
  • Familiar with Adobe creative suite applications including Dreamweaver, InDesign, Photoshop.

Driving: Full, clean driving licence.
Music: Grade 3 Piano, Grade 4 Drums.


References

Academic and professional references available on request. Please contact me.