Apprentice Software Developer
Choosing an apprenticeship
What were you doing before you started your apprenticeship with us?
Prior to joining CDS, I worked in a SEN (Special Educational Needs) school for four years. At the beginning of 2022 I wanted to pursue a career in Web Development. I spent six months learning as much as I could through self-learning and online courses. I then began applying for entry-level jobs and apprenticeships, before being selected to join the apprenticeship program with Bailie Group!
Why did you choose to take the apprenticeship route?
I reached a point in my self-directed learning where I felt I needed to be able to apply the things I’d learned in a “live” setting. An apprenticeship sounded like the perfect fit for me! I knew I still had a lot to learn, but I wanted to continue learning in an environment where I was using my new skills daily and on real-life projects. Most importantly, I wanted to surround myself with people I could learn from.
So far, what have been the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship?
The office environment has been fantastic. If I’d have chosen a university course or continued independent study, I’d have never had the opportunity to sit in a professional setting or surrounded by other professionals. I’m learning SO much being around people who are also doing Software Development every day; I’m being exposed to a range of different techniques & approaches that are all new to me. The biggest benefit getting to practice writing code every day, and that’s the only way to improve!
What did your family or friends think about you choosing an apprenticeship route?
My family have all been incredibly supportive. My partner has been amazing and really encouraged me to make the most of this opportunity, she felt I pursue something I enjoy and am passionate about. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to even put the application in.
Your role at Bailie Group
What does your role involve?
A Software Developer builds and maintains the code for websites, apps and software used by lots of different people all over the world. The day-to-day tasks can be quite varied. So far, I have been involved in helping standardise code for a website’s colour scheme, updating old methods with newer purpose-built solutions, and writing and implementing unit tests. It’s really interesting to see how it all fits together and I’m constantly learning new things.
What projects are you working on that involves you liaising/working with colleagues across your team or wider business?
The first project I worked on required a lot of different team’s input. I worked with Project Managers, a Software Architect, Front and Back End Developers, Testers, and a Business Analyst. I also had daily contact with other people working in my team, on the Front End and I was able to learn and pick up processes I needed to work effectively.
How does your day-to-day work link to the apprenticeship that you're completing?
What support are you getting from your team and wider business?
My line manager has been a great mentor for me. Thanks to his years of experience, he’s taught me things that I wouldn’t have got from a book or a classroom. The other people in my team are supportive and eager to answer my questions as well. CDS has been so welcoming and accepting of me and the rest of the apprenticeship cohort. Since day one I have felt like a proper member of the company.
Would you recommend the apprenticeship route to others?
I absolutely would recommend the apprenticeship route to others. I’m learning how to do the job I have always wanted to do, and I’m getting paid for it at the same time. I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I think that if there’s a field that you’re passionate about, and you can find an apprenticeship in that role, it’s the best way to get into the professional world and start getting that experience.
Three words to describe your Bailie Group apprenticeship?
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