Hi, I’m Zak Batinica and I’m currently studying for a MComp in Computer Science (Mobile and Distributed Systems). Before starting my yearlong technical placement with FDM in June 2016, I had completed two years of my degree. I am currently a Technical Analyst in the Leeds office.
I applied for the placement unsure of what to expect. During the interview process I discovered more about the Technical Analyst role which is a part of the Leeds based Research & Development (R&D) team. The variety and range of opportunities offered as part of this placement really appealed to me and is the reason I took on the role.
Since joining the team I’ve not looked back, everyone I’ve met at FDM has been really friendly and helpful from the moment I walked through the door. In particular, the other members of the R&D team were welcoming and are always on hand to share their expert knowledge.
This placement has been truly invaluable, I’ve greatly improved my technical skills as a result of working with new technologies (far too many to list in a short post like this), some highlights include:
- Amazon Web Services (Particularly EC2, but also a general understand of Cloud Watch & Lambda)
- C# (Including the use of Code Coverage, the SOLID principals and Test Driven Development in industry)
- Git – How the protocol works and how it works on the server (use of Ruby hooks)
- PowerShell (including automating tasks through the AWS CLI)
All of these things were completely unknown to me before I started this placement and whilst I would not pretend to have become an expert in these technologies I feel comfortable enough working with them that using them on a day to day basis is not a daunting prospect (as it was when I first started).
It’s not just my technical skills that have improved; the placement isn’t purely writing code, there is regular interaction with stakeholders and collaboration with members of other teams. This has helped to develop my soft skills and improve my commercial awareness.
There have been challenges to overcome of course but there isn’t any time I’ve ever really felt out of my depth. If I didn’t know how to do something then I felt comfortable going and learning about it independently and that combined with the ability to get advice from the rest of the team who have such a wide range of expert knowledge has made this placement a great experience.
Overall I’m looking forward to the remaining five/six months of my placement and feel the experience gained will help me to succeed in the remaining years of my degree programme as well as my future career.