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Software Developer
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I believed an overseas work placement would increase my confidence to work with others with different ideas and backgrounds. I would also be able to use what i have learnt at university and apply it in the world of work.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Through family or friends

Main responsibilities

Silodisa, a logistics company, one of Arete's clients, wanted an Amazon Alexa "skill" so that its drivers could ask questions such as "How long till the next destination?" or "What is my driver ranking". I was assigned the task of developing and testing this.

Typical day

In the morning the whole office would hold a meeting and each employee would tell the office what they completed the day before and what they are currently working on. It gave me a chance to ask questions plus keep me on track completing my project. After that I would start up my computer and start programming in Nodejs. I would then run my code on Amazon's lambda one of AWS's to check for errors. If there were any errors I could either search the internet as to why or ask a colleague. Most of the time though I had to figure this out for myself.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

The company used the concept of holacracy. It’s a method of decentralised management where there are no ‘bosses’. Every employee is in charge of what they are working on. Hence colleagues would come and see me when they had questions or doubts about my tasks. I really enjoyed having the chance to lead other colleagues and I felt that I was really making a difference by helping others at the office.

Challenging aspects

One of the aspects that I found difficult about the job was that, other colleagues could only provide small bits of help since they were working on there own projects. I found it hard to know when to ask for help and when not to. I was told I should always asked ask for help if I needed it, I did sense I occasionally interrupted the colleague I asked.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

I was able to use my Java programming skills I learnt from my course. Most importantly I used a lot of skills learnt from a module I did on software engineering. There I learnt about Git and Agile methodologies which were used predominantly at the office. It was great that I didn’t need any recap of this and I could really get on with the tasks

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

After having spent a month on placement I know have a clearer idea of my future career choice. I want to work as part of a team in my future career and not individually. What I do know from my placement is that I have really enjoyed the problem solving aspect of programming, and so will want a career with a considerable amount of programming.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

Make sure you research the company properly before you arrive. Knowing the company’s ethos and how it runs will make it easier to settle in on the first day. Always ask a colleague there if you don’t understand something. Finally, keep in contact with the people you work, because in future having a network of contacts can become really useful with references and securing jobs.

Form completed: 30 Aug 2017

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