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12
February
2020
Editorial note:
This article may refer to our solution as the "Digital Care Assistant", which we recently renamed to "Oxevision".

Dmani - Year in Industry Student

My name is Dmani and at the end of September 2019, I joined the Research and Development team as a Year in Industry Student. The scheme, provided by the Engineering Development Trust, is for school leavers to enter the workplace in their field of choice to gain invaluable work experience. After attending summer school with EDT, I was presented with the opportunity to register for the scheme. With an unwavering passion to use the power of technology to help improve lives, I aligned closely with Oxehealth’s values and overarching mission. Plus, the unique career opportunity to contribute to ground-breaking technology.

Within the Research and Development team, I help to maintain algorithms performance on site. Allowing clinicians to extract pulse and breathing rates - contact free using an optical sensor - alongside positional information of the patients. At first, I was quite nervous about configuring rooms and analysing a variety of metrics. However, the whole team was very supportive by helping me build on existing knowledge I obtained from school and applying it in a real-life context. This involved lessons with various members of the team to explain their current research and impact I should expect to see on site. Thanks to my manager and the team, I was able to get onboarded quite quickly which enabled me to start making a difference. From this, I was able to develop my skills and become more involved in checking the performance of hardware on-site.

Throughout my placement, I felt valued by the team and trusted to help deliver improved patient safety. During my first few months, I was given an opportunity to lead the test automation project. Through this project, I was able to explore the software development life cycle from how requirements are transformed to code ready to be released to the respective site. The primary focus of automation was on the GUI code thus allowing me to understand the more frontend side as opposed to the main algorithms developed in my team. I was also given the opportunity to explore the engineering element to our system with server building. This was a chance to get involved in configuring the servers taught by an experienced member of the engineering team.

What has become apparent during my placement so far is that soft skills are a must. As Oxehealth is a very innovative company and is pioneering advancements in medical technology, problem-solving is key to our success. One of the first steps to problem-solving is communicating the problem to the relevant people. What I quickly learnt is how open everyone is to work and freely communicate with other teams of the business to solve a problem. Feeding off this open work culture it has enabled me to resolve any problems that I was facing and reassuring that I was not alone something that I value a lot as Year in Industry Student.

Another main aim of this placement was to develop my technical skills. For example, with the support of a range of experienced developers, I was able to take my knowledge of Python to the next level. This was a combination of learning new syntax and improving coding efficiency; a factor which sometimes I overlooked. When working with a copious amount of data, code efficiency is one of the key elements of improving productivity so it remains a skill that I continue to work on throughout my placement and draw experience from, both from my team and other technical teams. During the development of my Python skills, I was introduced to version control software called Git which tracks my changes in my code. Resulting in my code being reviewed by the senior developers to enable me to improve, as well as ensure my code is quality checked. All the learnings are supported by weekly coding tutorial sessions, where senior developers share their knowledge and expertise in a subject for us to openly query and apply to our work. Throughout my placement, I look to also broaden my knowledge of other languages, like learning C++ from scratch and enhancing my SQL skills.

Overall, this has been an enriching placement so far with real growth prospects and to make a difference. I am looking forward to continuing my placement at Oxehealth before I embark on my Computer Science course at the Royal Holloway University of London.

Learn more about the Year in Industry charity:
To learn more, visit https://www.etrust.org.uk/the-year-in-industry

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