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Guest Blog Post: Hello World! I’m Adanma and I’m doing work experience.

by Howard van Rooijen

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One of endjin’s primary objectives is to do whatever we can to improve the state of the software development profession; not only in our day-to-day engagements with our clients, but also in how we try and provide opportunities for learning and growth for anyone who wants a career in our industry; we have our own apprenticeship programme, offer paid internships and offer school work experience placements. In 2013 Joshua spent two weeks with us and we taught him the basics of programming. In 2014 Jack, 15, spent two weeks with us and documented what he learnt. This year we have Adanma spending a week with us:

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Hello, world! (See what I did there?)

I’m Adanma, and I’ve just come to the end of a week’s work experience with endjin. I found them through blog posts of others who had previously done work experience here, and emailed to arrange a placement.

I was understandably nervous on my first day – what if I was late or couldn’t find the building (both happened, unfortunately). When I (eventually) got here, I met Alice, who introduced me to the rest of the team. I sat in on a meeting they have every week to reflect on the week before and set goals for the week ahead. Then me, Carmel, Mike and Alice discussed how best to change a feature that produces a newsletter based on scheduled tweets – loads of acronyms I was unfamiliar with such as API and VSTS were thrown around, but I’m fairly sure I understand them now. (Kind of!)

I then spent the rest of the day shadowing Alice, who was working on one of the features for this project. Before, Mike had made a sort-of algorithm for it, detailing the different tests the code had to pass before it could be deemed successful. Alice explained everything she was doing in lots of detail so I could understand and even let me do a bit of coding, which was a huge plus.

Tuesday, I didn’t get lost and made it in for around 10. I shadowed Alice again and we worked on the same feature – being able to add a Twitter account where the tweets will be posted to.

I spent the first half of Wednesday with Mike, who was working on a different feature. Most of it was finished by the time I arrived, but he explained to me the importance of getting things reviewed by others. This is why a lot of the time, the team pair up and work on code together, so that they can both offer input and spot problems that the other has missed. Mike submitted a merge request to the main ‘branch’ of code, which was approved after a few changes. After lunch, Richard taught me about a programming language called PowerShell. He was using this language to get and create build definitions, as well as get release definitions. It confused me slightly, but the code made sense! I was able to use the basics he’d taught me to complete what he’d been working on and run it.

On Thursday, Howard gave me a box of components which I’m looking forward to trying out. It has something to do with Microsoft Azure (a cloud computing platform) and also mentioned online tutorials which I’ll definitely be utilising. I spent an hour or so with Richard, who was finishing up the release/build code from yesterday. After he submitted a pull request, I went over to work with Carmel, a summer intern.

She’s working on a presentation (with Ed, another summer intern) about what they’ve been doing this week. It’s the start of a product, and to help them, they’ve created different ‘personas’ with ratings based on factors such as what they’d gain from the product, and how much they’d be willing to spend on it. Carmel wasn’t able to find out exactly how much money this would be, so made some approximations based on some very interesting calculations…! A lot of work went into making sure the presentation looked good and didn’t have terrible transition effects (there are a surprising number available) and the end result looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.

I’ve enjoyed working with everyone and finding out more about what they do. I’ve also learnt not just about languages such as PowerShell and C#, but about how endjin functions as a team. Thanks to everyone for putting up with me, it’s a shame today’s my last day here – I’ve had a blast!

About the author

Howard spent 10 years as a technology consultant helping some of the UK's best known organisations work smarter, before founding endjin in 2010. He's a Microsoft Accelerator Mentor, and a Microsoft Azure MVP. You can follow him on Twitter via @HowardvRooijen