Laura CraciunLaura Craciun

MComp Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science
Graduation year: 2015

Software Developer
Property Information Exchange Ltd

After graduating from Sheffield, Laura started working as a software developer for the biggest property search provider in the country, PSG Connect Ltd. Two years and a half later, the company was acquired by a technology company (Property Information Exchange Ltd) from the same industry sector. The new CEO invited her on two months trial to work at the new company in Reading. She then joined a bigger IT team, and ever since she has been working on developing and implementing features on the company’s ordering platforms; built a fully automated testing suite for one of the systems; supervised a junior software developer on commercial software integrations and looking to integrate machine learning and AI algorithms into the systems.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Sheffield?

Apart from being ranked as one of the most prestigious universities in the world, what ultimately made me choose Sheffield was the fact that I absolutely enjoyed the Open Day I attended. It felt like home despite being very far way from home. Everyone was so friendly, welcoming and supportive not only on the day but throughout my whole degree as well. I am convinced I wouldn’t have had the same experience elsewhere. It was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life!

If you could give one piece of advice to current students or recent graduates, what would it be?

I would tell them to enjoy their time at the university and manage their time effectively. Flexibility in programming (i.e. not being afraid to switch from a familiar programming language to a completely new one) is the underpinning of a successful career based on my experience. Getting out of your comfort zone and willing to learn new technologies is greatly appreciated by most companies.

What were the best things about studying in the Department?

I loved the fact that everyone was very friendly and supportive. The lecturers, project supervisors and the personal tutors were always happy to help even outside the office hours.

What skills from your degree have helped in your job?

The core skills around programming that I learned using Java, Python, Ruby on Rails etc were easily transferable even though my current job doesn’t require any of these languages. I’m hoping to use machine learning algorithms in my future work.

What is your job like including highlights and challenges?

My main responsibility is looking at requirements and coding the solution to them.

Every day, I have a stand-up meeting with other members of the team to discuss issues and plans. I’ll then go through a list of outstanding bugs/features, prioritising them and then working towards solving/implementing them.

I find the most rewarding aspect of my current role is that I’m always learning new technologies and methods. I enjoy working in a great team. I also get to share my experiences with undergraduate students via talks. Deadlines can be challenging and because technology moves so fast, I must keep up with it!