By Greg Sharpe, DevOps Engineer
I’m Greg, a former intern and graduate at DevOpsGroup. Having recently been promoted to a DevOps engineer at the company, and with applications now open for our 2019 training schemes, I wanted to reflect on my experience. It’s certainly been a blast!
I decided to apply for the internship programme at DevOpsGroup because it looked like an amazing way to start off my career in the technology industry. After getting in touch with the recruitment team, I was impressed with the support on offer and knew it would be a great way to learn the tricks of the trade.
When I was accepted onto the scheme, I took a year out from university. Whereas my degree was more academic, this gave me a real-world insight into the sector and how things worked. For instance, I had the opportunity to use the latest technologies and work alongside highly experienced engineers.
Overall, the experience was amazing. In the first couple of weeks, I learnt a lot of different things – mainly around the tools used at the company, DevOps practices, and Agile ways of working. These included Ansible, Terraform, Git, and AWS, as well as non-technical tools like Jira and Confluence.
But we weren’t just sat around reading from books – we were able to apply our knowledge to company projects. Towards the end of my internship, I built an on-boarding automation system, which is still used to this day. I collaborated with Dan, who was a graduate engineer at the time, to develop and deploy it from scratch.
Neither of us had a great deal of experience. While it did seem a little daunting at first, it was definitely worthwhile when we saw the final system in the end. It just proves that hard work pays off. At every stage of the project, we were given complete autonomy to work on the project – along with support and guidance from the Academy when it was needed.
What I’d also say is that you’re also exposed to softer skills. Although it’s important to immerse yourself in the technical tools you’d use daily as an engineer, you’re introduced to Agile and DevOps practices – not just on a company but industry level. That really helped me for when I went back to university and did modules in these areas.
After finishing my internship in September 2017, I went back to complete my computer science degree at Aberystwyth University with the opportunity to come back as a graduate engineer if I got a 2.1. It was motivating to know I had a potential job opportunity lined up, and I eventually went on to re-join the company once I had graduated.
To date, I’d say my biggest success and challenge has been working with a major client of ours. I worked on a Git migration and training project, which is nearing the completion phase. It felt amazing to be trusted and empowered to play a hands-on role in this work. I was able to use the knowledge I had gained from my training in a real IT environment.
What’s more, it was pretty eye-opening to experience first-hand what it was like working in a large IT enterprise. Coming in as an intern or graduate, you don’t really know what traditional IT is. Why? Because DevOpsGroup is so forward-thinking. I feel like this experience has set me up for my future.
The best piece of advice I’d give to a future intern or graduate at DevOpsGroup is that putting yourself out of your comfort zone is not a bad thing. You’ll get lots of opportunities to contribute to projects and work with experienced IT practitioners, so say yes to them and learn along the way. And if you’re ever stuck with anything, or want to find something out, don’t be afraid to ask all the burning questions. Everyone is friendly and willing to support you.
Being a part of DevOpsGroup has been an exciting journey. I remember joining as an intern when there were just 20 members of staff, and since raising investment this year, we’re at 100. It’s an incredible opportunity to work at such an innovative and fast-growing company. Our founders, James and Steve, have incredible plans for the future – and I can’t wait to continue developing my career here.
Attend our Open Night on December 11th to learn more about our intern and graduate opportunities.