Transitioning from University to the world of work can be a challenging experience, especially in times likes these where the global pandemic has forced many people to work remotely. Here I share my experiences of the first month at Viva IT.
I had applied for a few jobs before coronavirus hit in the early parts of the year having graduated from University in December of 2019. After a temporary six week stint at Tescos I restarted my search for graduate software roles. I had an interest in working for smaller companies and had been learning a popular PHP framework called Laravel so when I saw the posting for this job it was an ideal fit.
My first challenge at the company was to get to grips with one of the applications in our Apollo suite of services, Apollo Flow. This application allows us to specify and create new Forms that are used by our Credit Union clients. I spent 7 days creating and configuring a new form that would allow credit union members to apply for an introductory loan. This process was challenging but by the end of the task not only did I understand enough of the core functionality of the application to carry out work independently, I understood how to improve the way I achieve similar tasks later on. By week three I was really enjoying the ability to pick up Flow tasks and independently complete them.
Since then I have mainly been working on Flow and our main Apollo Service, Apollo Core. This acts the brains of the Apollo system and is much more challenging as the scope of what it does is much greater. During the latter weeks there has been a nice balance between the simpler Flow tasks and the more complex Core tasks.
One of the most interesting parts of working at Viva IT is the domain of our products. The Apollo products aim to provide credit unions with many of the features that you would expect from larger financial institutions, such as mobile and internet banking. It is also nice to know we are serving clients (Credit Unions) who themselves provide crucial services in our society.
Working at the company is very dynamic. Coming from University I did not have any experience of professional software development. Armed with only a basic usage of git, there were many applications and development tools I had never seen or heard of before. After one or two mishaps I have become more confident in using these technologies which will help me a lot in future.
The best thing about working at the company is the support provided by the team including my mentor Kane who has helped me every step of the way. This is especially critical given the circumstances of remote working.
Moving forward I am looking forward to getting used to Apollo Core and learning much more about Symfony, the PHP framework we use at Viva IT.