Meet Jakub who's doing Work Experience in Software Development
"The work experience is ideal for someone who wants to get into IT"
Role: Software Development Work Experience
You’ll be really involved in making stuff for Sky:
We were shadowing the apprentices for the work experience, so I thought it’d just be me sitting apart from everyone watching. But it turns out that not only was I a real part of the team, but the apprentices aren’t like apprentices at all - they’re like employees. We were tasked with developing something to help showcase a new feature they want to add on the TV. So what we were making emulates the feature, so users can test out how it would act, and then it goes to the development team to get properly developed.
It’s great if you’ve got a bit of knowledge of coding - but you don’t have to:
Because I’m doing a BTECH level 3 in IT at college, I had a bit of an understanding of the code they were using. So during the task, they were having difficulties being able to navigate around the interactive programme without causing errors, and I could help them out. We also got to look at other departments, seeing what each person does in all the roles. From the admin, like business planning, to the hardcore developers who are working on NowTV. As you’re walking to meetings with the apprentices, they make sure to stop and say hi and introduce you to all areas of the company, which was really great. I got to learn all about how they’d got to where they were, and what exactly they did.
It might change your mind about what you want to do:
I’ve always been interesting in security, and working for MI5 or GCHQ - I’d never thought I’d want to work at a place like Sky, but after seeing the working environment and seeing how lovely it is, I’m quite keen on it now. There are some great apprenticeships, and I like the fact that the apprentices are treated like employees and are left to their own devices. I’d also not thought of apprenticeships as an option in general, this work experience really changed my mind about a lot of things.
Turns out, IT can be a lot more creative than you’d think:
The work experience is ideal for someone who wants to get into IT, but isn’t sure what it really entails, and how it works within a company. Beforehand, when I thought of a software developer, I just thought of someone sitting at a computer by themselves, working alone. But it’s really not about that - it’s about engaging with other people and creatively pitching. It’s a lot more creative than I thought it would be, and I presumed I’d just be following someone around rather than contributing ideas and solving problems.
Don’t be put off if you get rejected:
There are limited software development placements, and they get a lot of applications so don’t get put off if you don’t get it first time. I applied once, and didn’t get it, so I just sent an updated application and here I am. When you apply, they’re looking to see why Sky stands out for you, and why you want to do work experience at that company rather than others. But also, like I said, it’s a popular company to apply for, so don’t get down if you don’t get it! Just keep trying!