First Year Employability Lectures 2016-2017

This year the Employability Lectures Series runs every Tuesday evening from 18:00 to 20:00 in room CG76.


Date and timeSpeakerDetails
11/10/2016Prof. Balbir Barn (Middlesex University)Computer Science at Middlesex: Reasons to be cheerful.

In this talk, I will discuss computer science as an important subject and a career, identifying some important industrial trends and how you can maximise your educational experience at Middlesex. I will try and counter some of the issues around employability and what you can do. Finally, I will outline some of the research being conducted by your tutors, how it fits in with the taught programmes and how you can also participate in the co-design of your own learning.
18/10/2016Nicola Pero (EngageHub)Paths to a job in IT: my experience and some ideas for current students

In this talk I will talk about my career, starting with open source projects and how these can help building experience not only with programming, but also with team work and with creating a network of collaborations with potential employers. I will then talk about my company ( and the systems we employ: Objective-C, Java, Python, PostgreSQL, and others. Finally, I will present the various roles involved in development: not only programmers, but also testers, analysts, support, etc., leaving time for questions at the end.
25/10/2016Prof. Chris Huyck (Middlesex University)AI and Computer Science at Middlesex and Beyond.

After discussion of Chris' background, the talk will move on to his research, and later onto a discussion about programming and jobs in AI. The research discussion will focus on Chris' main areas of research, neural processing and natural language processing. In the neural processing part of the talk we will discuss neurons, cell assemblies, cell assembly robots, neuro-cognitive models and the Human Brain Project. The natural language processing section will discuss information retrieval, conversational agents, and text extraction. Chris will also discuss other AI project he's worked on, and other AI research in the University. The talk will conclude with a discussion about programming and jobs in AI.
01/11/2016Mirco Bordoni (Skyscanner)Big Data at Skyscanner: an overview of the technologies and the processes used

Skyscanner is a strongly data-driven leading Internet company. It is currently in the phase of building a state of the art Big Data platform that already powers most of the decision taking processes, the monitoring, the recommendation systems and the analytics in general. In this talk we will go through some of the processes and the technologies used.
08/11/2016Massimo Bombino (Vector Software)SpaceX, ExoMars, Ariane: short analysis of catastrophic space failures

Recently, a couple of spectacular and catastrophic space failures has caught the attention of the public and specialists: SpaceX rocket and ExoMars Schiaparelli lander. In the past, many other missions like Ariane V led to disasters costing billions of dollars. We will investigate what was wrong, why and how to avoid those failures in the future.
15/11/2016Russell Weetch (SMXi)Working for a boutique development company

We will look at the benefits of working for a small organisation versus a large one in terms of personal development as a developer; the things you need in terms of professional development; and what you need to consider if you want to do your own start up.
22/11/2016Andreas Albrecht (Middlesex University)Computational Aspects of Bioinformatics Research

In my talk, I will introduce the basic terminology of Cell Biology and highlight computational challenges in biomolecular structure prediction, including aspects of Synthetic Biology. The importance of this research area can be illustrated, for example, by the recently awarded Nobel prizes for protein structure prediction in 2013 to Karplus/Levitt/Warshel and for the synthesis of molecular machines (Synthetic Biology) in 2016 to Sauvage/Stoddart/Feringa. I will focus on RNA Biology, i.e., RNA structure prediction and the impact of microRNAs on gene expressions in cells, along with implications for cancer research. I will also identify R&D opportunities for CS graduates, e.g., in Database Design for Molecular/Cell Biology, High Throughput Sequencing, and Biomolecular Structure Prediction.
29/11/2016Stevan Zivanovic (Infuse)What it takes to be a Software Tester

Stevan will describe how he became involved in software testing and why he has found it such an exciting area for over 20 years. We will also explore what software testing is and why it is such a large part of the IT industry.
06/12/2016Christophe Rhodes (Telco & Goldsmith University)My time with Teclo Networks: a six-year journey in telecoms

In this talk, I'll cover the backstory, operations, and sale of Teclo Networks, a startup whose products improved the performance of mobile broadband. The company was formed in 2010, and its products were in use in Europe, Africa and Asia, before being acquired in 2016 by Sandvine, Inc. I'll talk about the technologies we used, the successes and failures, and the way that a small team of people carved out a niche for themselves to have fun along the way.
Christmas Break
17/01/2017Nick Drage (Past Perspectives)Hacking For A Living

A career in Penetration Testing, also known as Ethical Hacking, can be daunting or alluring, frustrating or rewarding, or all of the above. In this presentation I will provide advice on how to join the penetration testing industry, a description of employers' typical requirements, what you can expect from the work and career progression, as well as suggested first steps.
24/01/2017William Wong (Middlesex University)Imagineering

Imagineering? what's that? Disney coined this term to mean the art of imagining new ideas and to then engineer them into being. Creating something new is difficult. Building something creative yet useful is an even steeper challenge. Different sciences and technologies are needed to create innovations. For example the iPhone took many experts from the human sciences, arts and design, engineering to make it. Human-computer interaction, or HCI, is one of those multi-disciplinary subjects that provides technology inventors and innovators a spectrum of expertise that helps us understand how humans interact and use technology, at the individual and socio-organisational levels. In this talk, we will discuss a few examples of what we have done to imagine, create and engineer them.
31/01/2017Yue Jia (UCL)App Store Analysis

App stores are not merely disrupting traditional software deployment practice, but also offer considerable potential benefit to scientific research. Software engineering researchers have never had available, a more rich, wide and varied source of information about software products. This talk will present results on analysis and testing of mobile apps and app stores, reviewing the work of the UCL App Analysis Group (UCLAppA) on App Store Mining and Analysis. The talk will also cover their applications used in the start-ups MaJicKe ( and Appredict (
07/02/2017Nadia Alshahwan (J.P. Morgan Chase)Working in an Investment Bank as a Computer Scientist: A Personal View

Choosing a career direction can be a very hard decision at the beginning of a person’s work life that could have great effects on their future. Getting an insight into different career paths from personal experiences can be very valuable in making the right decision. This talk will provide a personal view from a former academic that switched careers recently to investment banking on the experience of working for a leading financial institution. The talk will hopefully give a brief insight into the normal workday (or workweek) at the bank and discuss examples of the types of tasks and projects encountered. We will also examine the skills and knowledge that are in demand as well as the qualities that lead to success as well as some tips on how to get the job in the first place. Finally, the talk will discuss a personal view of the pros and cons of working for an investment bank and a brief comparison to working as a researcher in academia.
14/02/2017Greg Dash (MASS)From Good to Great of Software Teams

Building a great software team is a lot more than throwing together some engineers and giving them some work to do, it takes effort and time to build a team that is truly self-organising and motivated, a great team will build great software products. This talk will cover how MASS develops software teams to tackle challenging problems, and give advice and tips on how to improve teams you may work in, either as part of current projects or when in a role in graduation.
21/02/2017Richard Bornat (Middlesex University)Logic and Proof for Fun and Profit (including some Really Good Jobs)

Formal logic is being used, right now, in some of the biggest software firms in the world (Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, ...) to find bugs in programs and protocols. Some of the best programming jobs in the world involve playing around with logic. This talk is about the basics of formal proof: rules, proof steps and proof search. It uses one of the simplest and easiest-to-understand logics, and introduces a proof tool that lets you play around with logic too. It won't make you an expert overnight, but if you want to travel the road, it will help you get started. The aim of the talk it to persuade you that logic is simple, a bit weird, and a lot of fun. A kind of programming fun, too.
28/02/2017Ben Doran (MullenLowe Profero)Things I've learnt being a techie in a Creative Industry.

Advertising is much more than just Ads, it's way more than just TV ads and banner campaigns. In this talk I'll give you an overview of the industry and how technology plays an important role in how we build brands, with a specific emphases on the fun world of "Creative Technology" blending programming and experiences. I'll also impart some advice on the things I've learnt working in the industry since graduating from Middlesex University.
07/03/2017Rajagopal Nagarajan (Middlesex University)Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Quantum Cryptography*
(*But Were Afraid to Ask)

The novel field of quantum computing and quantum information has gathered significant impetus in the last few years, and it has the potential to radically impact the future of information technology. While the successful construction of a large-scale quantum computer may be some years away, secure communication involving quantum cryptography has already been demonstrated in several scenarios and practical equipment for quantum cryptography is commercially available. In this talk, I shall introduce a few basic concepts of quantum information processing, give an overview of quantum cryptography and discuss state-of-the-art.
14/03/2017Tomas Petricek (Alan Turing Institute)Building Better Data Science Tools (while avoiding a real world job!)

Data science is hard. You need to learn how to write web scrapers, analyse and clean messy data, design statistical models, build interactive web-based visualizations and many more. Can better programming tools reduce the vast number of different technologies that one needs to learn? In this talk, I will present some of my work on making data science easier for professional developers (, but also for journalists ( Along the way, I will talk about my personal story of how I got to work on these projects while mostly remaining an independent open-source contributor – as a PhD student in Cambridge, intern in a New York hedge fund, contractor for Microsoft Research and recipient of a grant from Google.
21/03/2017Juan Augusto (Middlesex University)Introduction to Ubiquitous Computing

Computer Science is currently transitioning to a different paradigm where computing is much closer to humans wherever they are, anytime, and decisions are related to much more personal dimensions, for example health and well-being. We will briefly glance at the development of this area, its potential and challenges.