Mastering the art of computing

Published: 14 Dec 2015

Two computing students at Robert Gordon University (RGU) teamed up with an Aberdeen company to complete industry projects as part of their Masters course.

Joel Gana and Alan Dunnet worked on the projects with Independent Data Services (IDS), with the company providing the MSc IT for the oil and gas industry students with particular issues to focus on.

Joel carried out an investigation of data completeness for the company, which delivers web-based data and knowledge management solutions to the upstream oil and gas industry.

His aim was to identify trends in data capture and investigate the data set to find trends that are not already known to IDS which would provide useful insight.  
 
Alan meanwhile looked Colin Dawsoninto creating a knowledge hub for the company that would contain information useful for both clients and employees.

This involved utilising ZenDesk, IDS’s customer service software to develop a customised help centre that gave access to a searchable knowledge base, client forums and chat functions.

Joel said: “Working on a project with a company gave me the opportunity to experience software development in the real world and it proved to be very different from the classroom experience.

“I had a lot to learn from the staff at IDS and this helped in enhancing my professional skills. The staff at IDS are very friendly, open, willing to teach, knowledgeable and understanding, and this made my work with them very enjoyable and fun.”

He added: “Working on this project with IDS provided an avenue to put into practice all I learnt in university and this made me appreciate the quality of what I have been taught.”

Alan said: “It was a great opportunity working with IDS. The range of different skills and knowledge from the course I used on the project made me appreciate the relevance of what we had covered.

“The level of support provided by many staff in IDS was outstanding, giving useful advice and insights when asked, and always being willing to give their time to help me.”

Colin Dawson, program manager at IDS, said: “Working with the students was a pleasure. Both students were enthusiastic, knowledgeable and driven. The MSc covered a lot of technologies that are used in oil and gas IT where they were able to hit the ground running and focus on the industry challenge rather than the learning aspect of that challenge.

“IDS supported the students by providing access to data and technologies that were required for their research and answering any industry-related questions that would come to surface from their investigations.

“From only defining the rough project scope and deliverables, both students were able to complete the assigned industry projects on time to a very high standard.”

Talking about what he would take away from the course, which was launched by RGU in 2013, Joel added: “Studying this course made me realise that there is the need for IT professionals to become more involved in the oil and gas industry, thereby developing solutions to recurrent problems or providing automated alternatives that provide ease in doing business.”

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