Full-stack software developer
I greatly enjoyed my placement year. The work environment was friendly and welcoming, and my colleagues were a pleasure to work with. I learnt an incredible amount in such a short space of time. The work done was consistently fun and challenging, and I rarely saw work as a chore. I believe the skills and knowledge gained from this will be incredibly useful in the future.
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During my time at the company I felt both valued and included by my colleagues. I was trusted and treated like any other employee, never excluded from meetings or discussions, whether they were work related or personal. This alongside a high level of transparency among the business made me feel incredibly valued and welcomed.
My line-manager was working on a separate, isolated project, however it was clear that I could come to him for any support or guidance. Because of this, a lot of my support and guidance came from team members working on the same projects as myself. I enjoyed this approach as I felt it allowed to to develop my skills as one normally would in a workplace.
How busy I was naturally varied with the stage of the sprint we were in, however I was always as busy as the other developers on the team, and there was always something I could be doing if there was no formal work to do, such as personal development or individual research into future work.
The amount of responsibility I had ramped up throughout the year. This was not because of the company imposing more or less responsibility but because of my own involvement and willingness as my confidence and technical skills/knowledge improved. I found that I was able to constantly push myself out of my comfort zone in terms of responsibility.
I gained vast amount of technical, business and personal skills. I developed my programming ability, techniques and quality greatly, as well as became proficient at working in and managing SCRUM. I believe all the skills and experiences that I gained throughout the year will either be directly applicable to future work, or at least transferable.
The office had a casual atmosphere, yet people were incredibly hard working and willing to go the extra mile. Everybody was friendly which resulted in plenty of fun and useful conversations. There were never any problems with the office environment being too noisy or distracting in order to complete work.
The placement was structured very much like a normal job, which worked fine for me.
Subscriptions to training websites (PluralSight and Bob's Business) were provided. However this is about the extent of personal training and development invested into me. There was some SCRUM training provided by a SCRUM master to the team, however that was done on their own accord as used PluralSight as the backbone of the session.
Previous placement students in my role have been re-hired and there have been talks of me coming back after I graduate.
There was only one other placement student in my office and there was no social interaction between us outside of work, or really at work for that matter. This may improve in the future if there are more placement students working at the office.
Living was relatively cheap. My apartment which was not only nice but also in an incredibly valuable and desired position was £500 a month, bills excluded. Cost of food and drinks was about what you'd expect, perhaps a bit cheaper than the equivalents in the south of England where I am studying at university.
The office was located in the city centre, meaning there was a plethora of pubs, clubs, bars and a variety of other social venues. Nightlife was very busy as you'd expect from a city on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as Sunday nights if there was a bank holiday Monday.
There were social events arranged and paid for by the company. Initially these were fairly infrequent however with the arrival of a dedicated office manager the amount of social events increased to every month. These socials ranged from bowling, board games, pub quizzes and meals. Somebody joining now would be able to attend socials every month, however for the first half of the year we did not have regular socials.