My first steps into the real world of work were taken at MOJ Digital. I was mentored through a 4-week internship, helping to code on the biggest digital transformation project in the UK.
Towards the end of my internship I sat the same test they give potential developers, and passed. Next thing I knew they were asking me if I wanted to join the Digital Services civil service graduate programme - one which, at the time, didn't even exist.
Since this is new territory for both me and MOJ Digital, steps have been slow and steady. I have been attached to 2 services (Parliamentary Questions and Employment Tribunal claims), observing how developers work with the service teams and learning about related fields, like user research and design. I also have a project to build an online bookshop - watch out, Amazon!
I’m learning so much faster than at university. I can already feel myself becoming more fluent in the programming languages of my profession, and I am surrounded by talented developers who help me out. I have tried to introduce them to frappé (iced Greek coffee with lots of sugar), but cold coffee doesn't seem to be catching on that well in the British winter.
It’s not just fluency in programming languages (and my English) which is improving. I’m also gaining the professional skills they don’t teach you at university - teamwork, communication and agile ways of working. I have even been demoing my online bookshop at the weekly Employment Tribunal sprint meetings. 3 more sprints and it’s ready!
Hopes for the future
The graduate programme lasts for 2 years. If at any point during that time my line manager feels that my skills are good enough, I will be invited to become a full time civil service developer. It’s my aim to make that day come as soon as possible!
I would like to thank MOJ Digital for giving me this opportunity, and the University of Hertfordshire, where I completed my degree in Computer Science - the first step of my journey here.