From graduate to 1E developer

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Leaving university I had a lot of unknowns and one singular certainty in mind. I did not want to pursue a career within the IT industry. All the theoretical essays, lectures, and mock software engineering group exercises/presentations had left me with a rather uninterested mind set towards IT. Little did I know that putting it into practice within the industry would lead me to a career that I now love and enjoy so much so that a bank holiday weekend can often leave me genuinely missing work.

After a pretty intensive application process, consisting of a phone interview, an assessment day, a face to face interview, and even a meeting with the CEO, I acquired a job at 1E. This would be a job I would come to love and could not have fathomed the amount I would learn within my first two years.

I started off at 1E being introduced to Software Engineering via the manual Quality Assurance role. Within this role I was taught the practical application of what a number of modules at university had tried to interest me in. I felt like at university I had learnt enough to pass exams. At work, however, I got to really see the results of QA on the engineering process and I felt like my interest in the world of IT grew exponentially because of it. Within the QA role I learnt about different testing methodologies, techniques, types and best practices. I learnt about how software should be tested and how the QA process at 1E fits in with the agile software development life cycle. A life cycle I would come to enjoy working in across the foreseeable future.

I soon moved into the role of Automation Engineer, here I got to put the programming side of my degree into practice. Programming was something that had always interested me but that interest was about to grow into a full blown passion after having worked with some truly talented engineers at 1E who taught me just how vast the world of programming is. The automation role also introduced me to continuous integration and build systems used to automate component/unit, component integration, system integration, and smoke tests.

More recently I have, with great support from my managers and team, moved into a developer role. With this comes a whole new world of learning but one that I feel I am progressing well with thanks to being surrounded by great mentors. I’d like to think I am lucky that I have learnt to code in a test driven development mind state, understanding completely the value of testing to improve software quality. Furthermore I feel that as a developer I am more aware of the importance of a strong partnership between “dev” and “QA”, especially having moved on from a QA role. Due to the calibre of developers around me I’ve had the chance to learn and improve my understanding and implementation of core programming skills and techniques, from design patterns to SOLID principles adherence, I feel I’m well on my way to coding with the best of them.

Throughout my time at 1E I have taken on many responsibilities as I’ve moved through the different roles. Most noteworthy of which is mentoring a graduate who came in a year after me. Adjusting to a position of teaching was quite a challenge, and I felt this was a great learning process for me. Having someone ask the eternal question, “why”, to everything really made me question my understanding of even core concepts and forced me to further my own understanding when I was unable to give a solid answer.

So far during my time at 1E I’ve had the chance to work on four different products across three different roles and work with a host of very talented individuals from whom I feel I have learnt a great deal and will continue to learn from. Never have I felt that I should be afraid to ask a stupid question or that I should already know something. I was taught very early on that there are no stupid questions and that we learn through our mistakes. Many mistakes and stupid questions later my skills and knowledge regarding software development, from processes right through to coding have improved more than I ever could have imagined they would. I still, two years later, genuinely look forward to work every morning as I always have done.

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