• 1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
  • During the makers course it would consist of a morning stand-up; working collaboratively during the day, pair programming with zoom and then an end of day retro. After the 12-week boot-camp, I spent every day either learning a new programming language and or frame work, or studying for my exams with online resources. Once I start on my project it will consist of a morning retro; doing work I've been assigned; speaking to the relevant people if I need help and or need to know about the work I'm doing, then prepping for the next day. Of course in between all these things are lunch where I would either go into town with friends, eat at the desk and watch something on my phone, or if the weather was nice, eat outside and play table tennis. I haven't given this 10/10 because it took me ages to get my security clearance and I felt like I didn't get enough guidance and help with that. Also after finishing the Makers course in December and I still haven't started project work and it is now April. However, this is not the same case for everyone, other people got projects faster than me. But there is nothing you can do to speed up that process, you just have to be patient, so some days can be quite boring. Every cloud does a have a silver lining though as it gave me loads of time to focus on my exams and I had already passed both of them by the 9th March.


  • 2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
  • The Makers course was absolutely amazing for learning new skills, I learnt three new programming languages, after only previously knowing one (Python), those were Ruby, JavaScript and Java. I also learnt other things during that course like HTML, CSS and PostrgeSQL. This all got built up together to make full stack web apps. I also learnt other things like how to use Git and the command line and I developed my general programming skills throughout the course as I already had experience from school. After the course continued to develop my java knowledge using Exercism, Plural Sight for project courses with things like Node.js, Angular etc and finally of course YouTube and W3Schools for more HTML, CSS and JavaScript development.


  • 3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
  • I especially enjoyed the 12 week course with Makers as it was none stop work; I knew what I needed to do; I enjoyed the content and the people who I needed to do it with, so I would even find myself sometimes staying longer than I needed to, to finish off the work. After the course the enjoyment was still there however definitely not the same as I didn't really have a strict set of things which I needed to do, so I would end up bouncing around to different things and getting bored faster. You go from 100 to 0 and your day to day changes. However I'm sure once I start project work the enjoyment will increase and maybe exceed what it was like during the Makers course.


  • 4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
  • I think it's well structured as during the boot-camp they start you off from the bottom and slowly work you up to building full stack web apps. Then they have you sit your exams, or at least the first one, while you wait for a project. I think this is a good idea because you have nothing really to do during that time so you may as well revise for the exams. Then you have the project after which you can use the skills you've built up etc & finally at the end there is a 40hr project where you can use everything you've learnt over the year to build a full stack web app by yourself.


  • 5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
  • CGI was always there to support me when I needed it, however sometimes I would be waiting a while for an email back and I think a weekly check up call, especially while trying to get security clearance, would've been better. It was harder to get support from my manager at the time as were located in a completely different part of the country, however I had people to support me in person in my office which was great.


  • 6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
  • During the boot-camp I had loads of support every single day, the coach physically checked in with me and the person I was working with, multiple times a day and they were always available to be reached via Slack too. After the boot-camp I had and am having monthly meetings with my placement coach where we discuss how I'm doing and what I need to do next. This is really good because we can plan my next steps together and I can ask any questions I need too. They're also available on Slack too.


  • 7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
  • I haven't started my role yet, but I'm sure I will definitely use the skills I learnt, or if I can't use the exact same languages or frameworks, I will at least be able to transfer the knowledge behind everything and just put that into the new tech stack which I will need to learn. I think the best skill I learnt which I will be able to transfer across will be how to work in a development team, and collaborate on a project with other people. As for the final 3 weeks of the Makers boot-camp, we were put into teams and had to build web apps. In addition, the two exams you take, both will be used in my role as one is to do with the Software Development Lifecycle and it's different methodologies, which are both used at CGI. The second exam, HTML, CSS and Javascript, will be used in my role as each project has some sort of front end development which would use this is in some sort of way.


  • 8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
  • Yes there are lots and lots of extra-curricular activities! You can join the sports and social club for £5 a month. This allows you to take part in free activities which may not usually be free and also get discounts on more expensive activities. Most people use the sports and social club so it is a great way to meet new people. Activities I've done include go-karting, airsoft and even a trip to Thorpe Park. There are weekly events too like football, basketball, badminton, rocking climbing etc.


  • 9a. Would you recommend CGI to a friend?
  • Yes

  • 9b. Why?
  • Everyone who works there is lovely and always there to support you, the offices are nice, the foods alright & I'm sure once I start working on a project, the physically work I'll have to do will be enjoyable too. There's also lots of other benefits like a shares purchase plan, you can pay into your pension, profit participation plan, sports and social club etc.

  • 10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to CGI?
  • Make your application stand out as when I joined I was told over 6000 people applied, they had to review each application by hand and only 50 apprentices got the job. So make your application worth the read! As it is a human reviewing it. If you make it to the assessment centre, by yourself, don't be afraid to speak up, be positive and communicate your point clearly.


Higher Level Apprenticeship

Business Operations, Information Technology


March 2020

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