Thomas, Jaspal and Ryan share their thoughts and experiences during their time on the Software Developer Summer Placement
"Be willing to change the way you think about developing software as well as be open to teamwork"
Names: Thomas, Jaspal and Ryan
University studied at, course and graduation:
Thomas: University of Hull, Computer Science with Games Development, 2016
Jaspal: University of Reading, Computer Science, 2016
Ryan: Aberystwyth University, Computer Science, 2016.
Describe your role in one word?
What did you work on whilst on the Developer Summer Placement at Sky?
Thomas: I worked with a team of graduates on the blogging site for our developers. Part of this was an integrated Blog Approval system to allow only high quality blogs to be published. After that my team looked into designing and creating its own bespoke blog editor.
Jaspal: I was placed within a team of graduates who were developing an iPad application to be used by the Sky Vision team. It was exciting to work on an application that’d actually be used within the company. I had the role of a developer, just like the other graduates, to create the app to the desired specification.
Ryan: I worked in the recommendations development team working on surveys. After around 6 weeks I moved to the NowTV team and was part of a graduate team working on their show trending micro-service that was being developed. This was exciting as I was able to use prior experience from one team to another.
What did you do on a day-to-day basis?
Thomas: I worked in a team using the method SCRUM. The SCRUM master was very experienced and was able to help us all along the way. As a team we’d meet with our SCRUM master once a week to look back on last week’s progress. We’d then hold a planning meeting to decide actions for the next sprint. We’d also meet weekly with Conrad, the Software Engineering Academy Lead here. At certain stages we presented what we’d done so far to our product owners, these are the ones who you’re developing the software for.
Jaspal: The start of the day would involve a short standup meeting with the wider team talking about what was done the previous day and what would be worked on that same day. Each morning I would be paired with another member of the team to pick up new tasks to work on. Majority of the time would be spent coding or researching solutions, whilst also reviewing other team member’s code if they’d completed a task.
Ryan: My day to day interactions involved programming, testing and deploying software which we had completed. We had lots of team meetings to discuss planning, how things are progressing and finally showing off the product to the product owners which I led one week! We got involved in meetings with the business analysts and different teams across Sky.
What did you find most challenging?
Thomas: If you were stuck on a problem and couldn’t get your head round it. Although what was great was support was always there, I just needed to ask.
Jaspal: Working with a new technology language that I hadn’t worked with before, but the other graduates were always willing to support me if I was stuck and needed help.
Ryan: Coming onto a project and catching up with everyone using a different technology you didn’t know about. This isn’t a bad challenge and in the end with a great team, it made it easier and it was more fun than challenging.
What did you enjoy most?
Thomas: Definitely being able to look at the end of it knowing you’ve left your mark on this product
Jaspal: Being placed within a team that had friendly relaxed atmosphere who made me feel like a member of the team.
Ryan: Everything, I loved it! Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, even though I was an undergraduate my ideas were respected and considered.
What would your advice be to applicants?
Thomas: Be yourself and don’t be afraid to ask questions or voice an opinion on a solution. It may only take 30 seconds and you learn so much from that discussion, it’s better than spending two hours trying to solve it yourself. The same goes for your opinion on a solution, don’t worry if you think it’s wrong because you never know it might just work.
Jaspal: Find ways to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role and ensure your personality comes across during the application process.
Ryan: Be willing to change the way you think about developing software as well as be open to teamwork as it is an important process. Most importantly, show you have a passion and interest for developing software.