Over the last few years, Wheatley have supported local students by offering them work experience opportunities to coincide with their studies. From the 10th to the 21st July 2017 we’ve been playing host to two students from local colleges. It seemed like a good opportunity to find out how Wheatley are perceived from a new and fresh audience...
What are you studying?
Digby: I’ve just finished my final year in computing, music tech and games design. Which sounds a lot more intense than it is!
Damien: I have just finished my first year of computer science, and have another year left.
Where are you studying?
Digby: Suffolk One (in Ipswich)
Damien: West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds – which is a nice place to be but I don’t like all the stairs! (He has to do 6 flights of stairs a day)
What would you like to go on to do when you’re a bit older?
Digby: I’d like to go on to something in computing. Before my time at Wheatley I wanted to go into development but after spending some time in other areas I’m really interested in infrastructure.
Damien: Something in development, probably a software developer although I’d really like to get into games development as I’m a big gamer.
Have you enjoyed your two weeks with us?
Digby: Definitely, it’s been good to see the things I’ve learnt put into action and I really like that it’s challenged the way I think and changed what I want to go into in the future.
Damien: Yes, I feel like I’ve learnt a lot over the time I’ve spent here, it’s nice to be in a proper working environment
What have you spent your time doing?
Digby: When I started my placement I was asked what I’d like to do and if there’s any thing I’d like to spend time doing. So I took advantage of that and spent time in development and maintenance, support, R&D and testing.
Damien: I wanted to spend my two weeks in development as I know that is where my passion is. I like that I was given work and tasks to do and allowed to just get on and do it like a real employee
Would you say that work experience has been worthwhile for you both?
Digby: Absolutely, I wasn’t sure what to expect at first but it’s definitely been worth it
Damien: Yeah, it’s been really worthwhile
What’s the one thing you’ll take away from your two weeks?
Digby: For me it’s definitely that I thought I knew what I’d like to go into but I’ve learnt that seeing other areas and trying different things opens up new perceptions. If it hadn’t been for my time with Wheatley I’d probably have gone into development without second thought and not even spent time thinking about infrastructure.
Damien: I’ll take away all the knowledge I’ve built up over the last two weeks, for example, I’ve learnt a lot about C# and I found that really interesting.
What’s your overall impression of Wheatley?
Digby: Everyone at Wheatley has been very friendly and helpful. It’s obvious that people are busy but there is a lovely and relaxed atmosphere. If I needed to ask any questions or ask for help, I was never scared to do so. It’s also nice to have a company that isn’t too small to be insignificant but is not too big to ‘not care’.
Damien: The staff are so friendly and it’s a nice environment to be in. It’s the kind of place I’d like to work in when I’m older.
What, if there is one, is the one thing that stands out for you over your two weeks?
Digby: How there are so many more options than I thought.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Digby: I’m a gamer so I spend a lot of time playing games with my friends, and I also enjoy spending time online watching YouTube videos and things like that.
Damien: I love to tinker with computers and spend time with my friends. I guess people would say I’m lazy but I think I just like to do my own thing.
Give me an interesting fact, joke or a motto you live by:
Digby: I’m currently learning a very simple programming language called Rust, which uses a borrowing system and I love to write in assembly language.
Damien: Why do scientists call helium, curium and barium the medical elements?
Because if you can’t helium, or curium...you’d barium!
When we asked Digby where you’d end up if you dug a hole straight through the Earth from our Bacton office, where you’d end up he answers:
“It all depends on the angle of the hole and surely gravity would ping you back out!”
...yes, that’s very true but we were looking for the just for fun, illogical approach...the answer would be 200m off the coast of New Zealand!
Thanks to both Damien and Digby for their time over the last few weeks and we all wish them the best of luck for the future.
We also caught up with their Supervisor, Ricky, who said he very much enjoyed showing the students what Wheatley do and what software development in the workplace is all about.
He said “Being able to coach new talent and helping them learn new ways to do certain things is my own personal highlight from the two weeks”.
As a small, local company, Wheatley are keen to play a role in the local community and taking students through our doors is one way we aim to do this. If you know of anyone in our area (Mid-Suffolk) that will be looking for Work Experience next year, and they have an enthusiastic attitude with a tenacious approach to finding solutions, please get in touch.