Interview with Brian Katumba, who is studying at the bachelor programme Software Engineering and Management.
A visit to his mentor’s work place insured Brian Katumba that he is well equipped in the field of Software Engineering.
- I can work anywhere, he exclaims.
Brian Katumba is confident that what he is studying at the programme Software Engineering and Management is relevant for his professional future. Brian, who just completed his second year of the bachelor programme has visited his mentor, a software architect at Volvo IT, at his work. A visit that strengthened Brian’s confidence in his educational choice and proved to him that his programme contains what is needed in real life. - What they do in their work is exactly what we do at the department of Applied IT, what we are learning here, Brian explains excited. It was fascinating to see what we are studying being applied in real life and I was happy that I understood exactly what they were doing.
Brian got the chance to ask his mentor all those questions that have accumulated over the past two years of studying, such as if documentation really is important. Hi is pleased to get it confirmed that everything he learns – whether it is interesting or dreary– is important once you start working outside the academic environment. The visit reinforced that nothing he has done at the Software and Engineering programme has been in vain.
- We study courses with a content that is currently needed in the industry, Brian tells. I was fascinated that my mentor and his colleagues were really interesting in what we are studying and that they were surprised at the accuracy of the content of the educational programme.
The visit left Brian with a boosted confident.
- I can work anywhere, with testing, architecture, anything. I am well equipped in each field of Software Engineering, he reveals with a smile.
Brian is very pleased with the problem based learning at the Software Engineering and Management programme. The students work in projects continuously throughout their education.
- We get a chance to apply the knowledge acquired in theoretical courses in projects, Brian explains. Working in projects is interesting and constructive. You get a chance to integrate with other students and find out who is good at what and learn from each other.
The programme Software Engineering and Management is given in English and the participants come from a wide range of countries. Brian Katumba is from Uganda and the only one from Africa.
- But I never feel lonely or out of place, he says and explains how tight the group of students is.
- When we work in projects like we do, you get to know each other really well. And since we work in projects so often you get a chance to work with everybody and get to know everybody.
Brian also appreciates the contact between students and teachers at the department, and the teachers’ commitment.
- There’s no gap between us. You can email your teacher any question and you get a reply quickly, sometimes even if it is in the middle of the night. We even have lunch with our teachers and can talk about our questions while eating.
Sharing dining area with the staff has its advantages and the study environment at the department of Applied IT where teachers and students of all years, bachelors and masters, are gathered on one floor of the building, is something Brian appreciates.
- Because of how it is organized you always have someone to ask, he describes. There is always someone to approach, older students or teachers.
Also the fact that the students have access to the facilities around the clock Brian finds positive and helpful during the intensive project work.
- The place is open 24 hours a day. You can work all night if you want. Sometimes when you work on a project it can be really stressful but at the same time it is fun and no one complains. And the outcome is worth it.
After he has completed his studies, Brian will return to Uganda to work and with a bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering and his confident he can work anywhere.
Text & photo: Linda Winstedt, June 2009