Software Development: Week 2

Session 1:

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Having been introduced to HTML and CSS in week 1, this week we started to look at Javascript. This was our first real taste of a complete programming language. Javascript offered us the opportunity to alter the content of a web page after defining the overall layout and style using HTML and CSS. Phil showed us various tips and tricks that he has picked up throughout his career and was very supportive of us. We started off by seeing how to change the text of a button after we had clicked on it. This gave us really a good introduction to variables and functions.

Session 2:

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On October 5th, we got a chance to visit and look around Sage – a global company working with 6.2 million businesses across the world, specifically revolving around finding the right software to suit their accounting needs. The building was overwhelmingly large and incredibly exciting for all us, knowing that these are the kinds of businesses that we could potentially work with in the near future. It was inspiring to meet Andrew, who is an internal recruiter at Sage and he showed us around the building explaining to us how Sage grew from it’s humble beginnings of 3 people in a pub discussing how to create accounting software an telling us the plans for the future of the business.

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We got to meet two people from the technical team, Steve and Paul. Paul is a lead developer and he explained about how they hire people, sometimes taking experienced developers and helping them to integrate with the team and sometimes taking on more junior members of staff and how they train them up to work productively within the team. He explained how they use Agile methodologies to quickly and efficiently add new features to the existing products without compromising on the quality for which Sage is known. Steve talked us through his role as a Devops engineer and how he uses existing tools to make sure that the web application stays up and is available for all their customers across the world. It was inspiring to hear how many people there didn’t study technical degrees and some didn’t even have degrees but were instead passionate enough to teach themselves how to code and used this to help them land their first job. It was good to see how one might progress in such a role and ultimately end up becoming a manager or technical architect. The reception we got at Sage was very welcoming and it is nice to see that new members of staff, regardless of technical ability are made to fit in and helped to progress through their careers.

software-wk2dOverall, I feel that this week was a huge step forward for all of us in progressing on this course – particularly having that industry insight from such a huge organisation was fascinating. The whole group, including myself, thoroughly enjoyed it as well as learning not just about the skills we might use in the industry, like Javascript, but also about how we might start looking for a job in the sector. We are looking forward to exploring this creative industry even further in week 3.

  • Josh McCulloch