Omotola and Claudiu have just joined Ampersand as graduate developers. We thought we’d take some time to get to know them while they’re still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
What are your first impressions of Ampersand?
Friendly, Fun, Professional, Helpful.
I know you’ve only been with Ampersand for two weeks but how are you finding things so far?
There has been a good balance of meeting people, while getting familiar with the tools we will be using once we start project work. There have been no major challenges so far. A highlight for me has been the emphasis on quality over speed. And although we are all working from home, communicating with the team is seamless, whether it has been over Slack or Sococo, I never feel left out! We have also used Tuple to help with virtual pair programming and that has been great as well.
Things are running smoothly so far, everyone is really responsive and communication is working perfectly fine working remotely. I’ve had a lot of introductory meetings where everyone gave a clear overview of the workflow and responsibilities. The training scheme is comprehensive, our mentors are great, ready to answer all of our questions and every day is well structured.
Why did you choose Ampersand?
Retail is a really interesting industry and I wanted to get an opportunity to work with the technologies being used to build ecommerce websites. The people I met during my first interaction and interview seemed warm, which showcased the company’s culture.
I chose Ampersand because from the very first conversation, I felt like the people were pure professionals, who strived to create a welcoming and friendly environment. It feels like a family, a very united group.
What made you choose software engineering?
I chose software engineering because I love the idea of making stuff with code. I have stuck with this as a career path because of the versatility working in the tech industry brings.
I enjoy solving problems and the required analytical thinking for software drove me towards computing and software engineering. Working in a team and exchanging ideas is the best way to develop and to inspire your colleagues. Software is not designed by a single person, every project represents a long journey and coordination as a team.
What’s it been like leaving uni and joining the world of work during COVID?
It’s been a bit awkward! But I love how quickly the company has adapted to the changes. The whole idea of working from home was not so alien to me, I especially like that I get to save a lot of time and money from commuting. However, since the company has adopted a Hybrid approach, it will be nice to meet my team in person when the time is right.
Ampersand has created an online culture which keeps me engaged and motivated. Leaving university without a ceremony was a sad experience but I’m sure we’ll all be able to celebrate safely at some point.
Tell us about your lockdown joys, lockdown lows or maybe even some lockdown life-hacks we could all benefit from?
One of my lockdown joys was saving money! And a lockdown life-hack which helped me a lot was being grateful and also showing that gratitude.
Do you have any cool hobbies?
I like dancing and creating technical content. I got into dancing at high school, I used to perform on stage with a bunch of my friends. Creating technical content ranges from infographic slides to short videos on a particular technical topic. I got into this as my way of learning, as well as teaching others.
I’m mostly a sports enthusiast. I enjoy hiking and winter sports. I’d also like to take up some guitar and photography lessons in the near future.
I like to treat myself with some Italian delights from Rudy’s or Gino D’acampo’s. Second to Italian, I enjoy the Japanese/Vietnamese ramen at Shoryu Ramen and Pho!
Any professional goals for the year?
Before the end of the year I would like to be actively involved in one of the client projects. Fingers crossed!
Making the most of my graduate year, getting exposed to as many technologies as possible within Ampersand’s stack.
And last but not least, have you got any advice for any students looking to get into the industry?
Start looking early! Whether that’s looking for an internship, a job placement etc. Leaving it to the last minute isn’t a great idea.
Try to find a company with a strong, unified culture; somewhere that wants you to grow as an individual. Ampersand is one of these places!
If you’d like to join Ampersand as a graduate developer in September 2021, apply now to join the programme.
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