Applications open 5th October 2020!

The Dev Zone in ProspectSoft

By Andrew Keys on Wed 01 April 2020 in Placement Blog

Learn about the world of Dev at ProspectSoft in Andrew's latest blog!

Working in development can be a daunting concept for those with little experience, like myself. During my time at ProspectSoft, I’ve been lucky enough to be treated like an equal, despite knowing very little about what was going on at first. From cloud microservices to backend database manipulation, the variety of full-stack development available in this role allowed me to gain experience and responsibility for my solutions, without having to trudge through a textbook.

Throughout the first month, I got to know the quirks of the Dev team at ProspectSoft and the other placements – and it was far from a sea of monotony and suits! Everyone in my team is young with fresh ideas, and those who aren’t my peers are young at heart. Because of this, I felt like I fitted in straight away, sharing a rich sense of humour with the Dev team I’m part of. Who could forget the great identity crisis of early 2020?

Luckily, I also share this sense of humour with my housemates, other ProspectSoft placements from varying roles, who helped me get to know the company better from different perspectives. Living with other placements is great fun and prevented any work-related stress, as we’re all in the same boat and can help each other out if needed. From a social perspective, we’re able to explore Oxford (where we’re living) together on top of all the events organised by ProspectSoft; as well as making commuting to and from Stokenchurch a lot more entertaining. 

I got started with my first major coding project in early October. For me, it perfectly combined the satisfying nature of problem solving with the justification of cause that came from the requirements of real-world business software; this was no longer a project that only I would see from my room at University. The technicalities of the project, an automated process for performing and scheduling database backups, allowed me to learn a new programming language (C#) from scratch and provided experience with Microsoft cloud services, specifically cloud storage, to take full advantage of access to software wherever, whenever.

Working with a Dev team fully committed to agile methodology for software development provided me with first-hand experience with the many discussions balancing deadlines, customer requirements and priorities. Dividing work between sprints and evaluating tasks using arbitrary points in order to best assess completion time enabled everyone to discuss how a task should be done and any complications that it may involve. This proved the best way to find an optimum solution to the problem discussed and allowed me to gain so much knowledge from the combination of different perspectives and experiences of the Dev team at ProspectSoft.

All in all, the time I’ve had as a Developer here so far has definitively improved my technical skills, to the point where I’ve outgrown my imposter syndrome, enhanced my understanding of development in the ‘real-world’, and helped me to effectively communicate my ideas and solutions. I’ve really enjoyed my time here and it’s been a very encouraging start for considering a future career in Software Development.

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