My Placement Year at Codify
I chose to do a placement year as I wasn't 100% certain what I
wanted to do when I graduated. As a computing science student at
Aberdeen University, I attended various career events and was quite
overwhelmed by the choice of careers; software developer, system
analyst, business analyst, systems designer, technical writer,
software engineer… I wasn't entirely sure what the difference
between these job titles were, never mind which one fitted me the
most! A placement year appeared to be the perfect opportunity to
try a particular path and get to know it a bit better before
committing myself to it with a three year graduate scheme.
With that in mind, I started at Codify as a software developer
in June 2012 and about six months later I was telling them they
weren't getting rid of me easily. I chose to come to Codify because
they were a small, quirky company who focused on using the .NET
framework well. .NET was never mentioned during my degree and it
wasn't something I had spent too much time with in my spare time.
My opinion was if I was going to delay graduating by a year, I was
going to learn as much as I could that wasn't part of my degree.
And I certainly did that.
A year and a half later, I can now add C#, Silverlight, Windows
Forms, WPF, SQL Server, WCF, RDLC and a few other .NET buzzwords to
my skillset. In fact, my time at Codify has even converted me from
using my former language of choice - Java, to the extent that I was
telling potential honours projects supervisors at uni to dream on
if they thought I would be using Java in my project.
Aside from improving my technical skills a lot, I have learned a
lot about the IT industry in general. From knowing a lot more about
the roles that I didn't work in, such as project management and
business analysis, to the processes that a project or support work
goes through before it meets the customer. I can now apply this
process to my honours project and hopefully that will knock the
grade up a band or two!
More importantly, I've also learned that IT professionals love
cake. I baked SO much cake during my placement year… still didn't
quite master decorating them as if I wasn't a small child
I found my placement very enjoyable and rewarding. I met some
great people and got involved with some really interesting
projects. Gaining experience working on real, live projects in the
support team has meant that my understanding of .NET and software
development skills in general have really benefited. I would
recommend a placement year to any student who wasn't sure what they
wanted to do when they graduated or who just wanted to learn a
tonne of new things. My only tip is to learn how to bake, invest in
a good alarm for the early mornings and brace yourself for the
weekly fire alarm test.