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Global IT leader sees bright future for University of Nottingham software engineering students

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS), a leading global business management software solution provider that is headquartered in the UK, recently participated in the judging and supervision process as part of the University of Nottingham's Software Engineering contest.

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Bright Future for Students


By both working with one of the student teams involved and helping to judge the overall competition winner, as well as sponsoring the prize for best project demonstration, industry-leading software engineers from KCS have given students a vital taste of real-life problems encountered in the commercial world and guided their first steps to employment in the industry. 

Both the University and the students were excited by the enthusiasm and expertise KCS brought to the project. 'Whenever I spoke to anyone from the KCS team,' explains Geert De Maere, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and co-ordinator for the project, 'I could see and feel a real drive, and I knew they shared our passion.' Such enthusiasm is infectious, and so when the other students assessed one another’s projects, the KCS-sponsored project achieved almost universal high scores.

The competition forms a vital part of the students' progress during the second academic year. It allows participants to showcase their technical skills while allowing them to develop their problem-solving and collaborative skills.

Rong Qu, Professor of the School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham

Ian Horsfall, Head of R&D Process and Optimisation at KCS, and Anton Targett, Head of Product Delivery for KCS Rental, worked with one team of students to help implement third-party GPS tracking application into an ERP system that optimises delivery planning routes for distribution companies. With the technology now at a proof of concept phase, KCS staff were excited to see how the students could grasp the project's scope and deliver a successful solution while developing those crucial problem-solving skills during the R&D process.

Presentation slide about student team sizes.

'The KCS team were great,' explains Rong, who also served as the academic supervisor for the students. 'They took care to pose deliberate challenges to the group, which were always at the right level and gave the students the flexibility to find their own solutions.'

'The students' engagement and understanding of teamwork were truly impressive,’ says Ian Horsfall as he reflects on the students he worked with during the competition. ‘Their well-rounded approach and enthusiasm inspired me, and it's clear these young minds have the potential to shape the business software of the future.' 

KCS Group CEO Ian Bendelow is keen to see more initiatives like this take place within the company: ‘This story shows how KCS supports new talent finding employment in the industry, either through gaining vital skills on our various apprenticeship schemes, or competitions run with leading education establishments like the University of Nottingham.’

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