1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My placement provided me with such satisfaction that i always looked forward to going into work. This satisfaction came from the fact that I knew I was working on current and upcoming landmark products and as such would gain meaningful skills and experiences that I could apply to my university work.
I also enjoyed my placement as it gave me the opportunity to develop skills in areas that I felt were weak in both a technical and personal capacity, For example my web development skills were comparability basic to the other developers at landmark but after working closely with several of them I became proficient in the latest versions of the angular framework and was able to write automation tests using the selenium web driver to test aspects of websites.
From a personal point of view when I started placement I was very quiet and nervous about contributing but over the course of my placement I was encouraged by those I worked with to be more confident and share my opinions more in meetings and as a result my personal confidence grew.
My placement was also enjoyable as the people I worked at landmark with made the process very enjoyable and never made the work feel selfish and worked to ensure that I felt like a valued member of the department. As a result I enjoyed working with them. They were also very knowledgeable and more than happy to sit and talk me through the code we were working on and ensured that I was happy with the tasks that I had been assigned.
My placement made me look forward to graduating from university and returning to the world of work.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues strived to ensure that I felt comfortable and valued over the course of my placement. My colleagues encouraged me to voice my opinions and suggest ideas in meetings. My colleagues would often call on experience I had acquired over the course of my placement to assist in the planning of sprints and would ask me what was possible in a given time span etc.....
My experience in certain areas was actively sought out by other members of the department and they asked me to detail my approach and suggest how they could best implement features.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had regular meetings with my line manager to discus my work and progress. My line manager regularly made time in his day to come over and see how i was getting on and check that I was getting sufficient support from those I was working with.
My line manager took time to introduce me to the other developers in the department at the start of the placement and would answer any of my questions at any time , he would ensure that if i was stuck or lost on my work that I would know who in the department to go to for support.
My line manager made it easy to approach him if i ever had questions and worked with me to identify the experiences and technologies I wanted to develop over the courses of my placement. year. He would then circulate this information with others to ensure that should any appropriate opportunities such as new projects or tutorial sessions that I was included.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Due to the agile nature of the development teams the work was divided up into tickets that were divided into sprints. As a a result there were always tickets that needed doing and as such I always had work available the nature and length of the tickets varied with some taking half an hour to others that would last 2-3 days. Naturally I was given more complex tickets as my skills and confidence grew.
Mixed into some of the sprints was dedicated learning and development time giving me and other developers the chance to spend time developing our skills by completing tutorials and reading best practice materiel. If there were no tickets in the sprint than I was encouraged to use the time as productively as possible and would carry out relevant L&D time to better prepare myself for the next sprint and/or project.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
From the start of my placement my line manager entrusted me responsibility by making me part of a development team and entrusting me contributing to live landmark products.
Over the course of my placement my responsibilities grew as I was entrusted to assist in the initial training of several new developers as they joined the department.
I was also tasked with giving presentations to other teams in the use of new technologies that I had been working with.
As my skills developed my responsibilities grew and the teams I moved into required me to take on larger tasks, such as creating proofs of concepts in technologies new to the team.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Over the course of my placement I acquired new web development skills in the latest versions of the angular framework and general refinement to my basic web skills such as css and html. I was able to use this experience in my university work.
I was able to build on my knowledge of OOP and SOLID design principles by implementing them in real world products and had my code changes reviewed by experienced developers who worked with me to refine my programming knowledge. As a result I was able to write my efficient code when I returned to university and had more confidence in my coding abiltites which gave me a fresh enthusiasm for development and as such returned to university excited to tackle my final year modules.
My experience with software development testing gave me a greater idea of what a quality assurance analyst and developer in test does and as a result not only did I approach my future work with a higher standard of testing I also got an understating if this was a career I wanted to look into more after university.
The technologies and industry I worked in greatly affected my final year project proposal. As I choose to carry on using the technologies I used at landmark and work on an area similar to the domain I worked in.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was enjoyable as my colleagues would make jokes and keep a positive atmosphere and as such this made the work less stressful then it could have been. The atmosphere was created that emphasis was placed on doing a task well rather than rush to get it done. As such in the event that a sprint overran or a ticket took longer than estimated this was fine and was accepted that these things happen and this was not someones fault.
An atmosphere of friendly cooperation was created by the departments multiple teams who would make jokes and walk across the room to lend support to other teams.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was quite well organised , when I started my line manager had planned out what team I was to be placed in and had ensured that I had been provided with the necessary software to do my job. During my first few weeks my line manager and colleagues work to ensure that I knew what I was doing and what was expected of me.
My line manager would have regular one on one meeting with me to discus the placement and how I was finding it and to check that I was still enjoying the projects I was working on.
The HR team was very good as they assisted me in completing the necessary paper work for joining the company etc... They were nice and encouraged me to ask any questions I might have about holidays , work benefit schemes etc...
My line manager regularly took the time to come and see how I was getting on especially when I had just started and worked to ensure that I was confident in what I was doing and understood the value of the work I was doing and ensured that I knew who I could ask if I needed more technical help.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Landmark put considerable time into developing my development skills by having my work reviewed by other developers in the teams I worked in. They had me spend time pair programming with experienced developers in order to better develop my programming knowledge. I was given ample learning and development time to use as I saw fit but many of my colleagues were more than willing to provide great material and examples that I could learn from.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
There were no perks with
this Placement Year
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I left my placement saddened as I knew I was going to miss working at Landmark and at times at university found myself wondering what they were working on now. Having met several new starters over the course of my placement I learned from them how well landmarks Junior developer opportunities compared with other companies.
I have also now looked at what roles landmark itself offers as well as other companies in the landmark information group.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I would regularly spend my lunch hours and breaks with my colleagues and get to know them better. Over the course of my placement several opportunities for company socials such as go karting and Christmas meal.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Exeter is slightly more expensive than other cities in the south west but not overly priced. However the salary paid was more than sufficient to live well in Exeter.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
No different to any other city , the only real difference is that the clubs and bars closed slightly earlier than other cites I had been out in.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?