Meet Tamera, our Software Apprentice
“You learn so much, and it’s really about team work.”
Tamera always loved designing web pages, but didn’t think she’d be good enough to do a software apprenticeship - now she’s working on a Sky website to help get women into tech, and learning all about how the Sky team created NOW TV.
It’s so much more than coding
People think software development is just code, and that it sounds really complicated. When we first started the leaders were like ‘What is software?’ and we were like ‘Errrr coding?!’. its so hard to explain because, basically, software makes everything! The big news ticker tape running round the Sky News studios is software. We had someone come in and show how they make NOW TV - the NOWTV kids characters are all made by software developers; his team came up with the idea of making them move. They all brainstormed what they could do. It’s really creative!
It’s about teamwork
What us apprentices do today, we did not know when we applied for this job! You learn so much, and it’s really about team work. I’d made a few webpages, but I wasn’t a tech genius - and at the assessment stage of the application process, we realised it’s all about team work. If you want to make something, but you don’t know how, there’ll be someone with you who can help - so we just bounced ideas off each other until we’d made a drone fly and linked it up with a website so you could see the pictures it was taking. It was so fun!
There are different stages within the apprenticeship
As an apprentice you have bootcamp, an education project, and a delivery team. We’ve done bootcamp, and are now doing the educational projects.
Bootcamp is learning all the basics of what you need to know; you can come in with minimal experience, but the people who run our apprenticeship get everyone up to speed. We also use a working method called Agile, and if we need to complete a part of the project really fast, you start something called a sprint. So you give the sprint a number, say 50, and have 50 cards. You put everything you want to do on each of the cards, and that means you’ve got to get it all done in that amount of stages. Once you've learned about all of this, you start working on actual projects - I’m currently building a website for Sky that has a login page, and it’s to get more women interested in tech.
You don’t need to know everything to give it a go
After speaking to everyone in my team, we have different backgrounds, and we’re all at different levels. The bootcamp brings everyone to the same level, but the youngest is 16 and the oldest is in their 30s. What scares people is they won’t have enough experience, but you get help from your mates, and I’ve never been left on my own. I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, but you find out you get a lot of help. If you don’t have the skill you think you need, you can find it.
You’ll probably get a job at the end of it
This apprenticeship is 18 months, and the aim is to get a job. They want everyone to get a job as an associate developer, and their aim is to not let anyone go. Twice a month, you can look and say where you’d like to progress to, and what you have to do to move forwards. I want to work on new stuff that isn’t out yet. Improving existing stuff is good, but I want to be the person who thought NOW TV was a good idea. Sky VR. Sky Q. I want to be someone behind that, and everyone’s like ‘Whoaaaa!’