Santiago joined Ampersand in 2019 as a graduate developer on our junior talent programme. Fast Forward One Year and he’s completed the course, been promoted and completed six months of coding in lockdown. You could say that a lot has happened…..
Hi Santiago, so tell us a little bit about yourself
Hello! I am a software developer at Ampersand, originally from São Paulo, Brazil. Before starting my Ampersand journey, I studied Computer Science at the University of Salford, whilst also doing some freelance work and working part-time in a restaurant.
Tell us about the application process for the graduate developer programme?
I came across Ampersand at my university’s recruitment fair and was really interested in the opportunities they had to offer. I had an informative chat to learn more about the programme and then decided to apply. It was a really smooth process: applying online, proceeding to a telephone interview and the final stage was a face-to-face interview. It gave me the opportunity to talk about my university projects and learn more about the graduate programme.
What was Day 1 like?
I’m not going to lie, I was a bit nervous, but everyone made me feel very welcome. It’s always daunting starting a new job, but the team was very friendly and made me feel really comfortable. I felt confident and excited at the beginning and was really keen to get straight into client work, however, it definitely got more challenging, learning specific techniques that I wasn’t familiar with, but I felt confident that I had a great team around me who could help out and offer advice.
How have you found learning in lockdown and what do you think about the new hybrid working plan?
It is certainly a lot more challenging learning remotely, as it is quicker to resolve issues face to face. However, working remotely has been great because a huge part of being a developer is problem solving which I have most definitely been able to do whilst at home, without any distractions. I have enjoyed spending time at home with my family and making the most of it. Hybrid working is a great idea, it gives you the freedom to choose where you want to work and provides employees with a good work/life balance.
Fast Forward One Year
I wasn’t expecting the promotion, so it felt great and of course, really exciting. (It also meant I was doing my job correctly which was a relief!) Being promoted as a developer didn’t change much of what I was already doing… No, I am lying, now I am working with real customer problems. I am now responsible for any issues that affect our customers. We work with some of the U.K’s biggest retailers, some of them do hundreds of thousands of transactions a month, so I really can’t mess up the code!
I would like to get more involved at the start of the project, looking at the overall architecture, choosing what type of technology to be used, and looking at the bigger picture with customers.
Would you recommend the junior talent programme?
I would highly recommend the programme if you have a passion for web development. It is a great programme that allows you to dive deeper into everything you learn at university, giving you the opportunity to to put your knowledge to practical use. My network is much bigger now and the opportunities to grow are much more clearer. The programme also made me realise that there is always more to learn and this is what excites me the most.
And finally, what’s it really like at Ampersand?
The people are very friendly, smart and always willing to help. We tend to go out socialising which is cool, well, when it was possible of course! And the working environment is fun and fast-paced. We manage to have fun, even when it is busy and even when we’re at home!
If you like the sound of Santiago’s journey, click here to learn more about the junior talent programme.
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