In 2019 I took the leap of changing careers from events and customer service roles to software development. It was a tough transition and a very steep learning curve but well worth it. After completing an intense immersive bootcamp course over 4 months, in October last year I was lucky enough to join the MoJ Digital & Technology as a Junior Software Developer and start a brand new career which I love. I’ve now been in this role for almost 4 months and time has flown! It’s been a strange start to a new job let alone a new career, times being as they are where working remotely is now the norm.
Starting a new job is daunting at the best of times and I anticipated that starting a new career remotely during a pandemic would be daunting on another level. However, I needn't have worried because at MoJ Digital & Technology I was made to feel welcome and supported from day one. As a junior developer a lot of things were and still are new to me, but my colleagues took time introducing me to the different processes, platforms and tools I would need to know to start my job effectively. I was introduced to different teams at their online standups over Slack, had one on one calls with colleagues to talk through the complexity that is a huge organisation like the Ministry of Justice and given an introduction to the applications my new team were working on. It took me quite a while to get my head around the architecture and flow of information as these applications are much bigger than anything I had worked on before.
I’ve found there is a really strong sense of community at MoJ Digital & Technology. When I started I was a little worried about how easy it would be to meet new colleagues while working remotely, but I was really pleasantly surprised by the number of people who reached out over Slack to introduce themselves and say hello. Even though it looks like we won’t be working from the actual office anytime soon I really feel part of the team.
I think that one way MoJ Digital & Technology demonstrates its sense of community and proactive inclusivity is through the huge number of Slack channels you can join. A few examples are the random lunch club where you get the chance to have a virtual lunch break with colleagues you might not have met yet, a women in tech channel creating a space to network with other female colleagues in tech, and a working from home wellbeing channel which has recently announced a photography competition (which I’m super excited about).
There is also a junior devs Slack group set up by junior developers in the MoJ Office of the Public Guardian. It’s open to all MoJ junior developers as a relaxed space to enable us to share knowledge and learn together. MoJ Digital & Technology also holds a fortnightly online Community of Practice where we share knowledge through short talks on new technologies and best practice. I’ve even had the opportunity to give a joint short talk with another colleague at a Community of Practice in the short time I’ve been at MoJ.
Day to day work
As a developer at MoJ Digital & Technology you have the opportunity to do some really interesting work where you can make life better and easier for someone at a really difficult time. We work on prison and probation systems moving from monolithic architectures to microservices, improving technical functionality to the benefit of offenders as well as prison, probation and courts staff. On a day to day basis we take part in morning standups to catch up as a team, identify any issues and talk through technical solutions. This sets us up for the rest of the day and everyone keeps in touch over Slack. We also often work together, pair programming via VS Code liveshare and collaborating on complex pieces of work.
I can't stress enough that in my role I’m learning all the time. My team will often take the time to show me something they have been working on or introduce me to a new platform or language. In addition to this, and the regular informative Community of Practice talks, Friday afternoons are generally set aside specifically for personal development and training. So every week there is an opportunity to focus on something you want to investigate further or to fill holes in your knowledge.
Over the last almost 4 months I’ve learnt a ton, gotten to know lovely new colleagues and been a part of the important and interesting work being done at MoJ Digital & Technology. I’m loving this job and am excited for what the future brings.
Sounds like somewhere you would like to work? Why not take a look at some of the great developer roles we currently are recruiting for: Ministry of Justice- Digital and Technology Developer roles