David - Music Technology
Studied: MSc Music Technology.
David did his BSc in Music Systems Engineering at UWE Bristol because it was one of the most technical but music-related courses he could find. After that, taking the MSc seemed to be a great way to learn more in an environment he enjoyed.
"Let's do something cool"
"The course had was taught by a good mixture of academic and professional staff, which made for a good well-rounded experience. Talking to tutors who had worked in the industry gave us the confidence that we could do the same.
"There was also a real sense of "let's do something cool" and everyone was always keen to share their projects and help one another where possible. You don't get that as much in industry as you're often guarding secrets.
From online forums to industry conferences
"Towards the second half of my Masters I started contributing to an online forum for a particular software development framework we had been introduced to on the course. I’d gather together useful bits of code I had written for my personal projects, and share them on the forum as a way of introducing my work to others.
"Over time, I began receiving requests for paid projects. One email was from the guy who created the original framework I had been using, who’d seen my open source projects and "didn't hate" my code. He made me a job offer and I've been working with him ever since.
"I'm now the lead developer and a founding partner of the company. I oversee the technical side of the business, including our two software teams, and any web integration that meets the software. It’s a varied role, but my primary love is still coding - I use the coding I did at UWE Bristol every day.
"I like the flexibility of my job, and the opportunities it gives me to travel. Having the confidence to stand up in front of hundreds of people and lecture at industry conferences is definitely satisfying. But the most rewarding thing is still when you see people using your software in a natural way without getting frustrated. That's when we know we've done something right.
A world of discovery
"The main skill that UWE Bristol taught us though was how to learn. Almost everything we did during our courses was new to me, so the whole experience was a world of discovery. UWE really instilled the confidence that everything is interesting and worth learning about and I value that ethos today.
"Without UWE Bristol, the things and people I was introduced to, I doubt I would be where I am today. It's great to see after so many years that now when I lecture at conferences some of my old tutors are in the audience.”