Jack Hughes, Software Engineering Apprentice
‘It’s really nice when someone praises something you have coded.’
I’m Jack, and I’m a Software Engineering at Sky.
Software engineering is manipulating computers to make them do what you want them to do. I find it appealing because I quite like logical things; where you give it a set of instructions, and it will give you a specific outcome.
The type of things I work on in my role were initially internal projects, which is a great time to experiment with different things and learn new skills. Eventually, you will go into development teams with people who have been there for quite a long time – and it’s nice to be around those types of people because you can pick up new things, which is quite interesting.
A day in the life for me would start at 9am, when I would come in. We would then all stand up and talk about what we had done the previous day, which helps us, as a team, understand what’s going on the project so that no-ones left behind when something new is implemented.
I found the training enjoyable as the coach planned out lessons which revolved around us. If there was something we weren’t interested in, or something we needed to improve on, he would make a new lesson about that instead. It allowed me to become a better programmer; because in the areas I would fail he would help me out, and in the areas were I would succeed he would give me something more challenging.
The support I get is from my coach who runs the boot-camp, as well as my project manager who oversees the internal projects that I do. You can simply send someone a message and they would usually get back to you right away. It’s not like you are just thrown into a team, and you’re sort of lost within that team – everything that you do is recorded, everyone sees it. It’s really nice when someone praises something you have coded, or maybe something that you have improved on the code-base.
When it comes to coding, we would all sit down and usually pair up. If you were struggling, hopefully your partner would help you out, or you could learn together. It’s about developing with other people, rather than by yourself.
Eventually, I’ll be moved into a bigger team where there will still be a project manager. There’s always someone you can speak to about the project; maybe if your feeling unsure about something.
The skills I’ve gained are in programming as a whole. Before I started at Sky, I had only written in one language. Coming into Sky, where they already had a code base set up, I had to learn a whole new language. It was quite confusing at first, but you sort of get used to it and seeing as most programming languages are similar you can get to grips with them.
I definitely feel included at Sky. It’s never a case that one idea will be better than the other – everyone shares their opinion about the idea and usually it makes for a better product because no-one is arguing about the features and it comes together being really cool.
There are a lot of opportunities to grow and develop. Sky has developed ‘Emerging Talents’, which allows to bring apprentices and graduates into a more of a community, which personally I think has improved my social skills and being able to connect with team members.
When I’m being told about current and future projects that Sky might be working on, it’s quite interesting because sometimes they haven’t released them already. It makes me think that when Sky eventually do release them that you will be part of something that is used by the public, and that’s quite interesting to me.
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