A day at IBM Hursley

Instead of giving a wall of text to describe what a day in the life of a placement student is like at Hursley, I decided it would be best to show it in photo/GIF form.


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First on the agenda is most obviously tea. “Tea!?” is bellowed out round the office at least 4 times a day, so it’s pretty hard to avoid the great English tradition.


With beverage of brewed leaves to hand, I get to work. Today I’m working on load testing the team’s product. ‘Load’ being a form of testing used to put the product under extreme stress to see where it breaks and make sure we patch up these weaknesses.


I then move onto my Giveback for the day which is giving Southampton Solent business students a tour of Hursley.


First we took them for a walk through the grounds to have a look at Hursley House from the outside. This is the building where a lot of the client meetings are held.


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As a part of the tour, we took them to the museum that is in the basement of Hursley house, which contains many relics from the history of computing.

In the above image we have the IBM Portable PC 5155: IBM’s first ‘portable’ computer. It still boots up to this day and runs PAC-MAN despite being released back in 1984.

The story behind this particular model of computer is that when IBM opened their first shop in London to sell them, on day one somebody just came in a walked away with it. At first there was panic as they thought this could only mean bad PR, but the newspapers that Friday had stories not about the fact that it was stolen, but that it was actually portable enough for it to be taken at all because for its time, it was really quite the sleek unit.


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This is the IBM Thinkpad 701c, which had a very unique ‘butterfly’ keyboard that folded out when you opened the lid. This meant that the laptop was extraordinarily compact.


This is the Wedgwood Room, so called because of the very distinctive wedgwood blue and ceramics on the walls. I have had a couple of meetings in here, all of which had awesome food!


Wedgwood ceramics


After the tour, I head back to my office to carry on with my normal day’s work. I then have a meeting with the 2 other placement students who I sit with in my office to discuss our Giveback project called Congrats2. It’s a software project that we work on for a couple hours a week and it isn’t directly related to our job roles. In the above image, we’re discussing user interface changes.


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Then before I know it, the day has ended and we get to drive out of the rather picturesque Hampshire campus.