Developing careers for students
07 Nov 19 | read time 3 mins
A work placement is a great opportunity to gain new skills and experience, as well as improve chances of employability after uni. At Commify we’re focussed on providing placements that allow you to get stuck into real-life projects and get hands-on experience in a really supportive environment.
Last year, Ala Kharin and Kan Srimanchantha joined us as placement students. Ala joined our teams as a full stack developer and Kan started as a Web Developer focusing on the brochure sites. Below Ala and Kan tell us about their experiences:
– What were your first impressions of Commify?
Ala: Very positive! I picked up on the friendly, relaxed atmosphere when I came to the office for my interview, but my expectations were still exceeded. Everyone was very welcoming, and I was able to get my hands on actual work almost immediately. My teammates were patient and respectful when answering my many questions as I encountered things I hadn’t seen before (which was everything!). Care was taken to make sure that I was always learning something, getting a good amount of challenge, but not becoming overwhelmed, which I greatly appreciated.
Kan: I also found everyone to be really friendly from day one. I sometimes struggle with names and faces but I found people just approached me to introduce themselves and ask how I’m doing so I felt very welcome when I started.
– What did your role involve?
Ala: I got to work on building new messaging channels, as well as maintaining and improving existing services, all while using modern technology including several interesting Microsoft Azure services.
Kan: When I started, I was a Web developer for the brochure sites. We would work closely with the marketing team to build and maintain the websites from front and backend to deploying websites and managing the infrastructure of our web servers. As my placement progressed, our team was given more responsibility in the business such as helping out with migrations and working on API management which I really enjoyed.
– What were the highlights of your year?
Ala: The highlights of the year for me were the projects where I got to work with my team on building something completely new and we got to see the full process from preliminary investigations to regular usage of the final system and where we got to use new technology the whole way through. Another high point of my year was taking part in Ship It, a hackathon-style event where we got into teams and worked towards completing a goal in 24 hours. The project I worked on for this event was adding a messaging channel into an existing platform using an internal API that we had developed earlier in the year. It was incredibly enjoyable to be part of a group of devs hyper-focused on delivering a goal in one day, and we managed to get our idea working in just 10 hours! Seeing our hard work come to fruition right before our eyes was extremely satisfying, and we won one of the judging categories!
Kan: There are so many things that happened in the year so it’s hard to pick certain moments. But what comes to mind would be the successful website launches we’ve done where we get to see all the hard work everyone’s done put live to be used, it always felt really rewarding. I also enjoyed all the socials and team lunches we got! Overall, it was a very good year.
– What were your biggest learnings during your placement?
Ala: It’s difficult to narrow down! Although I came into the placement with a decent foundation of computing knowledge and ability to work with others, all the technology we use, and the soft skills involved in working closely with so many different people on a full-time basis was an entirely different experience. I can’t reiterate enough about the sheer volume of new skills and information I’ve gained over the past year, all culminating in me becoming a confident C# developer (a language I’d never even used before), having a deeper understanding about many aspects of the industry, and able to build positive and productive relationships with my co-workers.
Kan: I learnt how to function in an office environment. Coming straight from university, it takes a little getting used to having a 9 to 5 job, having to act professionally, be responsible and take ownership of the work you produce. I feel like this is a skill that I wouldn’t have gotten out of university. The work was also quite different from my course at university. I got to learn a lot about the technologies that get used in the industry and why we use them, why we have dev/staging environments and how we react to live issues when they arise.
We’re recruiting for our next round of placement students now, see full information here.
If you want to help create software that you and your team can be really proud of, email your CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can view our current opportunities and benefits here!
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