- Course studied:
- Computer Science
- Year of graduation:
At the forefront of new technology
Daniel Horton chose to study at Staffordshire because the computing science degree was so far ahead of the competition.
Now working at Parker Software (http://www.parkersoft.co.uk) in Stoke-on-Trent, he says he applies the skills he learned at university every day in his role as Technical Manager.
“At the time I was looking at redbrick universities,” says the 30-year-old, “but in 2003 many of the computing degrees were quite archaic and the hardware they used was not that advanced. I wanted to be on the leading edge of developments.
“I think other universities have caught up now but at the time Staffordshire was definitely the best place to go. I was on the Stafford campus, and the Octagon building was cutting edge. It was also on my doorstep, which meant I could stay at home and save a few pennies.
“My degree course gave me the tools to take away and apply to my day-to-day work. Most of the skills we were taught lend themselves to what I do now. For example, project management was instilled in us every time we did a project, and now I can time manage myself and others.
“It gave me technical understanding with a firm foundation in programming and development, and the technology that we were talking about then as experimental is now readily available.
“I can really see the practical application of what we were learning.”
After graduating in 2007, Daniel spent a couple of years travelling the world, visiting the United States, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.
On his return to Stoke-on-Trent he joined Parker Software as a member of the technical support team. He then worked his way up in the company, becoming a Technical Analyst in 2011 and being promoted to Technical Manager in 2012.
He now manages the technical support team and internal infrastructure services, including VoIP, networking, hardware, mail servers and the company’s main products, WhosOn and Email2DB.
“It’s the kind of role I aspired to have,” says Daniel, who recently visited Staffordshire University to attend GradEX and check out the work of this year’s graduating students. “I’m lucky that my degree was quite varied and has allowed me to adapt to different situations.
“I want to progress as an individual and be successful in the company here. I’d like to continue to develop and learn, and keep pushing myself as hard as I can, as well as passing on my knowledge to the people I employ.”
Daniel is always on the lookout for potential new recruits for Parker Software and is working with the placements team and lecturers to help make the company’s name known to Staffordshire students.
“Going back to the University brings back good memories,” he says. “Quite a lot of my lecturers are still there. They were all great – I don’t have anything bad to say about them. They always gave positive criticism and the lectures were very engaging.
“I’m still friends with lots of people from University and speak to some of them online on a daily basis. My favourite memory of the University is the people I worked with.”