Life as an apprentice at Performance Web

My Story

Technology is essential in most people’s lives and yet its complexity is so often overlooked. The fact that technology continues to expand and develop is what fascinates me. This rapid expansion allows people to communicate in ways that would have amazed, even those within the industry, only a few years ago. My personal ambition is to aid people to communicate with others via software, whether that be through a business website, native app or even through
more personal technology. Take Snapchat for instance, such a simple idea enhanced with software, enables people to connect with each other around the world. The ever changing and improving nature of technology is what primarily captivates me.

After studying IT during secondary school education I gained an interest in web development and decided to learn the fundamentals. Once I had established this understanding I then proceeded to developing basic websites with the skills I had learnt and after successfully developing my first website, I decided I wanted to do this for a living.

My Apprenticeship

During this time one of my friends was an established freelance web developer with experience in software development as well. After we had a discussion about what he does I was fascinated by the software side and decided to research this. My enthusiasm for software development led me to apply for an apprenticeship in software development at Performance Web. Already having the basic skills required to design and build websites, I have taken advantage of this apprenticeship to further develop my skills and deepen my understanding of the concepts of software development. Since working here I have become familiar with and utilised a number of different scripting and programming languages, including HTML and C#.

My Role

At the start of my apprenticeship I utilised previous skills to aid the business, this included tasks such as setting up computers and minor network admin tasks. Aside from these tasks I was introduced to a Content Management System (CMS) called DotNetNuke (DNN). During this time the company was redeveloping a website for a large healthcare company, I was given the responsibility to work on this website performing tasks such as adding and modifying content.

After spending time with this website I got used to this CMS and was allocated task of different websites using the same CMS. On the side of these tasks I was given various tasks to develop my existing skills in both software and web development. I was given tasks to create static HTML websites as well as software based tasks such as the interview task using C#/ASP.NET. As my knowledge grew I gained the ability to develop themes for DNN and also the growing CMS: WordPress.

Overall I have learnt a lot since I started, I have gone from an absolute beginner in HTML to being able to develop an entire project using WordPress. I have investigated many languages and frameworks along the way as well such as C#, Swift/Objective C, Ruby/Ruby on Rails, jQuery, PHP and also many JavaScript frameworks such as Ember.JS.

Working for Performance Web has opened many paths for me as well as gaining vital experience dealing with clients what will be valuable later in my career.

What Performance Web think:

Jake is our first apprentice software developer and his journey has been a great learning experience for everyone involved. It’s easy to underestimate just how much knowledge and experience we accumulate during our careers and we forget the size of task that faces those leaving school to start on their careers.

Our main concern has been to get Jake qualified through his apprenticeship so that he can use this as a spring board to progress to higher levels of education or onwards with his career. At the same time we have exposed him to the greatest variety of work possible within the scope of “software development” so that he can understand the possibilities and try to select the best way forward.

Jake has become an integral part of the Performance Web team and, having completed his college assignments, we are looking forward to finding out what grades he has achieved. Over the course of his current apprenticeship he has progressed to the extent that he should be able to continue his career in development and join the team as a full time junior developer.

Having an apprentice on board certainly brings a fresh dynamic to our business and I’m sure we’ll be looking to repeat the experience at the next opportunity.

Team Performance Web

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