A Week with WebShoppApps

Posted by: Josh Monday, June 9th, 2014

After meeting Karen at an engineering conference held by my school I asked if I’d be able to undertake work experience with her company. It seemed the perfect opportunity – an impressive company, an industry suited to my interest and based near to where I live. I’m so glad Karen agreed to take me on for a week as having completed it I can say it was honestly an invaluable experience.

When I arrived on my first day I was a bit worried I’d be sat around with nothing to do as I’d often heard about friends being given boring jobs that no one else wanted or given the role of tea-maker. However, on my arrival I was given a project and a laptop that was to be mine for the week as well as a temporary email account with the company. This made me feel really welcome to begin with but it was the staff’s friendly and helpful nature that made me feel at ease and made the week so much more enjoyable.

Most of my independent work centred on web page design, doing my own research and producing reports to suggest updated designs for the company site. I also spent a lot of time shadowing the different staff members to learn about their different roles in the company as well as more in-depth information behind how the apps work. I learnt a lot of technical information too such as getting much more familiar with Linux, how to use servers and debugging computer code. It was so interesting to see how different members of the team would work together to solve particularly challenging problems, especially as I was often clueless as to possible solutions. The fact everyone was so happy to explain fully what they were doing and answer my questions meant I learnt so much more than I would have just from observing. Occasionally we’d go off topic, talking about things that I didn’t understand, outside of what was currently necessary of the task, answering some questions I’d had for a long time.

On top of this I learnt a lot about the work environment, colleagues and working life. Being treated like another member of staff made me feel independent and mature while the jokes and conversations kept it from feeling too serious. Given that I hope to move into this industry it was especially helpful to learn how a relevant company operates, for example the hours and what it’s like to work at a computer for long periods of time. I also learnt more about PHP and code, especially the debugging process, which should be really helpful in my future studies.

Overall I had a brilliant week, really fun and exceptionally useful. I feel a lot better prepared for my plans to study computer science at university and more confident that I will enjoy the subject. I had such a great time I was a little sad to be leaving after what felt like such a short week. However with some WebShopApp goodies and possible opportunities to return next year I couldn’t be upset for long.

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