Software Engineer at CGI

Start Date:
2017
Location:
Gloucester
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
Salary:
£22,000 annually
Review Date:
March 2018

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Review Score

3.8/10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:

6/10

I am a Software Engineer, I've been involved at many stages of the software development process including design, development, testing and operation of a production environment. I work with my team to address latest work tickets through an agile methodology, staying in contact with customers to ensure work is addressing their needs/requirements as documented. I've learned to use multiple technologies such as Java, SQL and Linux.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?

6/10

I was tutored in Data Analytics, Software Testing and Project Management. Software Testing was a subject I was unfortunately already familiar with both through previous training and through work experience and this module did not cover any new ground for me. Data Analytics provided some interesting insight into warehousing and data mining which were unknown to me previously, I found this module fairly valuable. Project management was an interesting module and covered some new ground but I do not expect to apply much of what I learned for the time being until I am at a career level that gets more engagement with the project management process.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

2/10

I unfortunately did not enjoy the programme as much as I expected for multiple reasons including a long travel distance, lack of engaging content that I found relevant to my position and several personal issues that were not addressed by the university which regrettably led me to the decision to leave the course.

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4. How valued do you feel by CGI?

4/10

There are review and feedback processes in place but these have honestly declined in quality and lost focus over time in my opinion. More people have been assigned to fewer managers which has caused problems in getting in contact with someone when I needed to as management is overloaded with other work. In the past I shared a personal manager with only a handful of other people which made me feel more like my concerns mattered.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?

2/10

There were a number of times where students raised issues or complaints regarding module structure and tutors were slow to address these. Learning quality varied between modules which caused further frustration. Tutors often provided vague or confusing explanations of assessment criteria which led to multiple requests for clarification or guidance.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?

2/10

When grievances were raised the university would claim to act but in many cases there was little outcome from complaints; in some cases students were not given appropriate preparation for module content - in others students were already well ahead of the curve but no attention or support was provided to offer challenging material to advance their knowledge.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?

3/10

The company assigned mentors to apprentices however in many cases these mentors were not kept fully in the loop by the university regarding what their role entailed and what support they were expected to provide. In some cases mentors were not actually informed of their new role and failed to get in contact with their assigned apprentices.

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7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?

3/10

Travelling to and from university was difficult cost-wise; I was initially not given permission to claim expenses on my travel despite the long distance. However following discussion with my manager I was given permission to claim train tickets and later petrol mileage on my travel. This was however after some discussion and confusion causing some of my claims to come in later than is usually accepted.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?

6/10

There are social clubs in most locations though you will possibly struggle to attend events if you do not live nearby. It will be especially hard for you to attend if you have a long commute or have relocated to work on a project. There is some allowance for volunteering or charity work.

9a. Would you recommend CGI to a friend? *

No

9b. Why? *

I have had troubles with a lack of opportunities available to me due to my location and skill set. Most opportunities in my area are for more senior positions and there are now a significant number of underqualified apprentices with not enough work to occupy them, requiring relocation or long commutes to get on a project.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to CGI? *

You will need to be proactive in seeking out roles and developing new skills in order to find yourself on a project. Do not get too attached to any specific set of technologies, you will need to be very flexible and adaptable to get very far. Initial training will be useful as a kick start but you'll be better off pursuing your own development than building off what is provided.

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