As a fourth year on the MEng course, we get to obtain some industrial experience by working at the university-owned Seed Software. On Friday I was selected to implement a route visualisation system for the fire service’s command and control system. It was my first choice, so I’m very happy that I got it.
The current command and control system can estimate the time it takes for a fire engine to reach a specified address. What our team has to do is work out which areas are reachable within 15 minutes and visualise them on a map, so that the fire service knows which parts of their county don’t have proper fire engine coverage. Such a calculation is (I imagine) very computationally expensive, so the team will need to figure out a fast way to calculate it without being too inaccurate.
I can’t get much more specific than that as I don’t know the details. That’s what Monday is for. We’ll be working in Seed one day a week until the Christmas holidays, which when you think about it isn’t really much time at all. We have therefore been recommended to follow a software development strategy called Scrum, which is actually really interesting. You can read the essentials of it here: http://www.scrum.org/Portals/0/Documents/Scrum%20Guides/Scrum_Guide.pdf
Whether we can finish this project or not remains to be seen; we were signed onto this project with the full expectation it wouldn’t be finished by next year. I’m confident nonetheless that the team will give it their best shot.