I really enjoyed the placement, the people were very supportive and knowledgeable in their areas, the office was in a great location. I found living in Northampton very difficult and commuting was difficult, it was also hard being so far from where my friends and family were, but the actual placement was very good. It helped me with my C# programming skills and I hope to be able to go into software engineering in future jobs.
I felt very valued by all my colleagues and fellow interns, the office is decently sized and the teams are tightly knit, if I had any professional or personal issues there was always someone to listen to, and there were monthly and weekly meetings to allow me to ask questions.
Whenever I got stuck during work I was always able to ask for help from the other members of the team, I was encouraged to ask whenever I tried all the options that I thought would work, the most important thing is to not be stuck without a plan of action, asking for help at that point is necessary.
There are always work items to be doing, in cases where the mainline work is not available there is sideline guild work to be doing, there is also a lot of training material to be learning from as well.
I was responsible for quality assurance, of software before it being shipped, I was responsible for testing, finding, and reporting bugs before release, there are a few that would still be in if not for my work. I was also responsible for creating user interfaces that would be seen my all the users of the program, so creating good quality software was important.
The skills I learned are extremely useful and marketable, by learning C# I was able to create my own WPF apps, that I can use to demonstrate my skills, I hope to use these to get into future software engineering roles.
Sports and Social Club
There are good prospects, there are a few people in the office who joined as interns and came back after they finished their degree, since interns already have a good knowledge of the company, and there is usually a large learning curve for software companies, there are good prospects.
Socialising depends largely on how the interns live, if they live together there can be a good social life, but if interns are split between multiple towns it's very hard to meet up. Milton Keynes has a few attractions but there is not much to do besides the standard cinemas elsewhere. There are football and badminton clubs that are popular within the office however.
Living was quite cheap, I spent £400 on rent in 2019-20, and I was able to catch a lift into work where I helped with the fuel cost. Being able or having someone to drive to the office is essential, as bus fees are expensive at £6.50 return and splitting a taxi between 4 people isn't any cheaper.
There is very little nightlife in Nortampton, occasionally students from Northampton university go to nightclubs, but that is rare. The one nightclub I went to (pre pandemic) was not busy. Towcester and Milton Keynes are similar.
There are badminton and football clubs to get involved with, and occasional meals out to commemorate coroporate activities. (Yearly, farewell to staff, etc)
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Computer and Systems Engineering
28th July 2020