February of 2019 marked the start of my journey at Method4. Though excited, I was very nervous to start. Being on the first Software Engineering degree-level apprenticeship scheme in Wales, I wasn’t sure what to expect, however my experience so far has been greater than anything I could have hoped for.
Undertaking an apprenticeship instead of following the traditional route of university was definitely the right choice for me. Though I did well in school, I was reluctant to go to university along with my classmates as I was still unsure of what I wanted to do. Instead, I got myself a job whilst I tried to figure things out. During this time, I tried various things and concluded that software engineering is what I wanted to do. When the opportunity for this degree apprenticeship came up, it seemed to be the perfect package – getting paid whilst learning on the job, and I get a degree? What more could you ask for! I had discovered at my previous job that I thrive in a work environment, and that learning through experience with a hands-on approach worked best for me.
Each week I spend one workday studying for my degree with the Open University. Aside from that, I spent my first few weeks completing training, learning C# and MVC through Pluralsight courses and practice exercises. Since then, I have been working on an internal project, building it from scratch. Through this project I have gained experience in many aspects of the development process, from initial design to product demonstration. I have written back-end and front-end code, both by myself as well as in collaboration with others. On top of that, I also participate in one of Method4’s “Research and Development” groups, where we discover new technologies and best practices to share with the rest of the company in monthly “Developer Meetings”. This is something I really enjoy as it gives me an opportunity to broaden my knowledge across a range of topics that I might not otherwise have come across.
Prior to joining Method4 I had little experience in programming. I had worked on various projects as a hobby, and I had taken a couple of short courses in coding at Cardiff University, but much of my knowledge was self-taught. From the beginning, Method4 has been an enriching working environment with a great community of amazing, talented people. There was, and still is, a lot of new information to take in but I’m always encouraged to ask questions and I’m fully supported by the other members of the team, who are always happy to help.
Over the past 6 months I have learned so much, which consequently has helped my confidence grow. I still have far more to learn, but I could not have asked for a better start to my career!