Meet James, Industrial Placement Student

Jack Simpson

Head of Marketing and Communications

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James is one of seven Industrial Placement students currently at Web Applications UK and I sat down with him to find out how he is finding his placement so far.

Originally from York, James moved to Manchester in 2009 to study for his degree in Computer Science at The University of Manchester. Whilst looking through a list of employers who offer placements, Web Applications UK caught James’s eye as it appeared to have a good vibe and generally looked like an awesome place to work. James has been with us since July 2012 and has enjoyed every minute!

Before starting his degree, James travelled around Asia for 3 months, visiting countries such as China, India and Vietnam. During this time he managed to visit both the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal in one week, and travel through Vietnam on a motorbike!

In his spare time, James enjoys playing computer games with his favourite being DotA 2. Squash is another hobby but he hasn’t done much of this since moving to Manchester, preferring to go to the gym instead.

Above everything, what James enjoys most about working at Web Applications UK is the fact that he is treated like any other employee, making him feel like a valued member of the team. From the beginning, he was working on real, live cases that are used by our clients, allowing him to learn and develop in a fast moving industry.

The social side of the business is something that James has fully immersed himself in, believing it to be a key benefit of working here. Not only does he attend almost every social event, he also supports the charity days, recently taking part in Movember 2012.

James settled in quickly at Web Applications UK and told me how he immediately made friends. He loves that he became part of a team with a Senior Engineer and a Project Manager to turn to for help and advice. When he first started, James received two weeks in depth training from our Training Manager, Shaun. This not only made him feel valued but he was also quickly brought up to speed with the company’s products, values and aims.

Throughout his time at Web Applications UK, James has developed using a range of languages, different to the ones taught during his degree, teaching him new ways to write code. In particular, he has improved his SQL and has had a lot of exposure to C#.

A challenging but fulfilling aspect of the role for James is working towards deadlines. Not only has this taught him how to work under pressure, but he believes it has given him great time management skills and allowed him to prioritise his work effectively. Something that will come in very handy when he returns to university for his final year!

Each employee at Web Applications UK is given half a day per week of personal development time, a chance to work on whatever they want to improve themselves, aside from their usual work. For James, this is a highlight of working here as it allows him to continuously improve himself, learning and growing as a Software Engineer. On top of this, during the 11 months of his industrial placement, James will be exposed to every part of the company. By working in the support department, James has been able to identify common errors and bugs which has improved his code writing ability.

Successful Industrial Placement students are offered a job for after university, and we fund them through their final year. James will leave us in July for his final year of study but he is already hoping to return! Seeing how great a place to work it is from a quick tour after his interview, James recommended two friends from his course as industrial placement students and wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the placement to others.

All in all, James has had a wonderful time so far at Web Applications UK, meeting some great friends and learning lots in the process.