I started at Web Applications UK last July, as a 12 month Industrial Placement Student (AKA an IP). My time at the company came to an end this month, and I’m back off to Aston University, Birmingham. Looking back over the last few weeks, I came to the decision that, all in all, this has been one of the best years of my life.
New experiences, new people, highs, lows, the good times, and the difficult. The struggles and mistakes I’ve made, the things I’ve learned and successes I’ve enjoyed, have all combined to make up what has been an absolute whirlwind of a year. As I write this, I think back, and could swear that last weekend, we were in October, helping out behind the scenes at Hack Manchester! I remember my first day like it was yesterday, and I will most certainly miss this place.
Having a laugh at the official Spring outing
At the core of the company stands a carefully laid out set of values, and above all, a dedication to learning. This makes up a fundamental part of what it means to be a Webbie. So, it seems fitting to pose the question: what have I learnt?
A running joke between the IPs is that we learnt more in the first two weeks at Web Apps, that we did in the first two years of our degrees, studying Computer Science. I could start to write about the different programming languages I’ve used whilst at work, the Microsoft certification exams I’ve taken, and the hackathons I’ve been involved in. The training sessions provided most weeks, by someone in the office, the opportunity to volunteer and teach programming at primary schools, all of which have contributed to an enormous amount of experience I have gained this year.
Picking up an award at the company Christmas event
However, all of this gets somewhat overshadowed by what I have learnt about myself, my own strengths, and weaknesses. I have gained more of an insight as to what I want out of my career and the direction I will choose to take when I graduate next year. Above all else, this is the most important lesson I will take with me when I leave Web Apps.
As this was my first ‘proper job’, I have no idea how Web Apps compares to other companies in terms of peers, workload, life-work balance, or any of those grown-up sounding words. All I know, is that if Web Apps gives an insight into work in the ‘real world’ after graduating, I’m going to love it. It’s been a brilliant opportunity, and I would like to think I’ve made the most of it, and taken advantage of all the incredible experiences this company has to offer.