First 100 Days as a Graduate Software Engineer

Steven Finn

Hello, I’m Steven, and I’m thrilled to share my experiences from my first 100 days at Hamilton Robson. Joining the company in July 2023 after graduating in Computer Science from Ulster University, I was initially captivated by Hamilton Robson at the UU careers fair. Their eye-catching AR game, which projected a hologram onto special glasses, immediately caught my attention. The game, a simple yet engaging maze navigation, sparked my interest, prompting me to delve deeper into what the company had to offer. After conversations with the team about their technologies and ongoing projects. I was impressed by their enthusiastic, innovative, and friendly nature, which ultimately let me to applying for their graduate position.


In my first couple of weeks, I underwent a swift onboarding process, participating in workshops on React, GitHub, and unit testing. These workshops equipped me with the skills to build a web app using React, manage source code effectively with GitHub, and implement a test-driven approach to website development.

Once comfortable with these tools, I transitioned to a group project. Collaborating with fellow graduate and placement engineers, we utilised the technologies from the workshops to digitise an office game called Tunes-day. Over the next two months, we worked closely, assisting each other with challenges and bugs, turning the project into a collaborative success.

My Week

The daily routine at Hamilton Robson is diverse, involving tasks ranging from developing web apps with React to working on mobile apps with React Native, Arduino projects with C++, and Teensy microcontrollers. Additionally, I’ve been involved in physical projects such as soldering and programming sensors for clients. The variety of work has exceeded my expectations, allowing me to learn and grow as a software engineer. Unexpected highlights, like testing the Game of Thrones Studio Tour app in Banbridge, have made my experience even more memorable.


During my first 100 days, I’ve been able to gain hands on experience within a range of software projects. This has included designing, building, and deploying web applications using React, TailwindCSS, NodeJS, Git, and AWS. As well as creating Arduino projects from scratch using Teensy, C++, and various electronics. It has been a great learning experience enhancing my communication skills in a professional environment while being able to quickly adapt to new techniques.


The most significant challenge I faced initially was leading a project with a tight deadline. My role involved integrating various components, both physical and digital, to transform a bow into an IR controller for a video game. Overcoming hurdles, such as circuit design, microcontroller usage, IR sensor implementation, and C++ programming, proved both complicated and intriguing. This project not only challenged my technical skills but also honed my communication, planning, design, and testing abilities, emphasising their importance.

Final Thoughts!

I am thoroughly enjoying my time here at Hamilton Robson and am looking forward to contributing to numerous upcoming projects. In the short time I’ve been with the company, I’ve learned so much, and I am eager to learn more.

Reflecting on my experience, if I could offer advice to my past self, I would strongly encourage exploring the world of React and React Native. These tools have proven to be invaluable for creating exceptional applications. I would also encourage myself to get involved with project which use Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and electronics. I have found that watching my project physically come to life is extremely rewarding, and I wish I had started sooner!

If you enjoyed reading about my time here at Hamilton Robson feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn!


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