Internship profile: Thomas Chetwin
16 November 2012, by Thomas Chetwin
I’m currently studying Computer Science at Cambridge and had had some prior programming experience in my second year group project. This had led me to consider software development as a career, and where better to start than Softwire? The employees I’d spoken to at the computer lab recruitment fair were enthusiastic and full of praise for Softwire and I was not disappointed!
I was put on a project very soon after arriving and was given structured training sessions over the first few weeks. My project was to work on the internal interview management application, the same one I’d been on the other side of just months before. I was allowed to experiment and explore with the unfamiliar technologies (Java ServerPages, Hibernate, Spring …) under the guiding hand of my team manager, which was of great benefit to me. I continued to work on this application for around a month and became familiar with its many facets.
I recently moved onto my next project, regarding the employee database, skills tracking and library which is in Ruby on Rails. This is a good point to mention that Softwire prides itself on its use of a multitude of technologies, some well-established, others cutting edge. There are projects for every conceivable platform in a variety of languages going on all around me.
Softwire takes personal development very seriously and outlines why this is good use of time for both us and the company as a whole. Time spent learning more about a language for example will save time later when a problem /new scenario arises. It also means in the long run we will be better programmers! There are many schemes in place to facilitate personal development, such as the weekly technical jargon email; lunch and learns, where anyone in the company is free to give a talk about any topic they like; and a well-stocked library. Additional books are also bought for the library on demand.
There’s a great working environment in the office which is open and comfortable. New starters are welcomed to the company with a trip to the pub with the current employees, which was a great way to become familiar with people. I’ve since been on several of these and was lucky enough to attend the company picnic, an afternoon of fun and ‘school sports day’-style Olympic events. (We had an Olympic competition between the upstairs and downstairs employees!)
All in all Softwire is a great place to work, encompassing a great social experience and enjoyable, challenging projects. There can’t be many other companies that accomplish this to such an extent, as shown by the award from The Sunday Times!