I started my industry year placement at Method4 after finishing my second year of Cardiff University last year. Before I started, I was worried that I might be at a disadvantage due to my lack of web development knowledge, but this was not the case. On my first day, I was assigned a mentor within my agile circle, who helped me through the induction process (an introduction to Web Forms and MVC, C#, Visual Studio and SQL Server).
Within my first week, I was working on a project for one of our existing systems. Though you could say I was thrown in the deep end, I was fully supported by both my mentor and the rest of the circle at all times. I was always encouraged to ask questions and for help if I wasn’t sure about something. I came to the conclusion pretty early on that working at Method4 is more like working with friends than colleagues, which makes it really easy to work together because everyone wants each other to succeed.
One of the things I love about working at Method4 is that each day can be different. You’re not stuck doing the same tasks every day for a year, which keeps things interesting and means I’ve gained a lot of experience in a lot of different areas.
Since I started, I’ve worked on a range of projects. I’ve gained experience in both Web Forms and MVC, I’ve written both server-side and client-side code and I’ve worked with platforms like Microsoft SharePoint. My C#, SQL and jQuery skills have improved a lot! I’ve also had the chance to be a part of each stage of the project life-cycle, from development, to testing, to UAT, to live releases.
I’ve also been given an increasing amount of responsibility as the year has gone on, which has definitely helped my confidence grow. Within a few months of starting, I began to take on support calls directly from clients for systems I had become knowledgeable with. This led to me taking on larger pieces of work and subsequently having more and more direct contact with clients. I now speak to some clients on a weekly basis, which really helps improve your communication skills!
One thing I didn’t expect from working at Method4 was the social life that came with it. Our most popular event ‘Few Drinks Friday’, is a weekly event organised by our ‘Social Sec’ James, which as it suggests involves going to a nearby pub in the city centre for a few drinks after work. We also have ‘Good Food Friday’, where we go out to a restaurant for lunch. Other things we’ve done include going to Judgement Day, the ‘Real Ale Trail’ (around Cardiff and the Vale) and playing football after work. Method4 also organises a charity challenge once a year, with the most recent being our marathon walk from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff Bay.
If I’ve taken anything from my year at Method4, it’s that people definitely don’t treat you differently just because you’re a placement student! I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to do so many different things this year, and I know that the experience I’ve gained at Method4 will be invaluable to me in the future. I’ve also made some great friends along the way!