Harry Cutter - PX Limited

Topic

[apprentice]

What made you choose the apprenticeship route?

I was offered the apprenticeship by px after a half-year contract as a way to get me the qualifications needed to continue in my job role. I wanted to continue working at px so I was invested in continuing onto and completing the apprenticeship.

Please explain your role within the business and your day to day tasks and responsibilities:

Currently my role in px is mostly limited to SharePoint development and maintenance. I am responsible for maintaining most of our SharePoint sites, which includes; investigating errors in the sites or workflows, developing new areas to user requirements, and granting or removing user access permissions. This role also involves some HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding but is mostly done through the SharePoint GUI.

My day-to-day tasks differ depending on my current projects, of which there are usually always new on-going projects. Currently most of my time is devoted to one of three projects, where I try to work on one project, get it back with the client to test, and then use that time they’re testing to work on the next project in the priority list. During my day I also take care of helpdesk tickets relating to SharePoint when I have the time to do so.

How have your skills improved during the course of the apprenticeship?

I have developed a good knowledge of SharePoint development and HTML/CSS/JavaScript programming as that is main job role. I had no real SharePoint experience at the start of my work at px, but throughout the course of my apprenticeship I have become very proficient at using and developing in it, and can work independently for the most part with the occasional question to my manager if I encounter something I haven’t seen before.

I have also developed in my social and project management skills. This apprenticeship and px as a whole has pushed me to socialise much more than I used to, and I am much more open and talkative than I was just two years ago. In terms of project management, I mostly take care of my own projects with the occasional input from John when it comes to planning out deadlines and priorities, but otherwise I take care of the projects myself, including scheduling and attending meetings, planning systems, and taking care of any issues reported by users.

How have your responsibilities changed since you started your apprenticeship?

When I started my apprenticeship I was primarily assisting John with SharePoint development, creating forms, lists or workflows as directed to help develop projects he was already working on. As my apprenticeship has progressed, I have become much more independent in my work, and I’m now taking care of my own projects, allowing John to focus on larger-scale or more complex projects that I can’t currently help with, as well as assisting the rest of the Software Development team.

I was also responsible for the px Intranet system for a while after I finished developing it. Any changes needed for the system were sent along to me and I took care of making them and letting the requester know they had been completed. Last year I created a guide to some common changes that are requested on the system and passed it onto Amy Farrow, from our Business Development department, who I worked alongside to develop the system originally, and she is now able to take care of the intranet on her own with the occasional request for support if the issue is more technical.

What are your views on the quality of training programmes provided to you by Baltic?

I feel that the quality of training provided by Baltic has been high throughout the duration of my course. The sessions are able to cover lots of information very quickly, and don’t dwell for too long on a topic unless one of the attendees asks for more detail or for repeated info. The sessions are detailed enough to get the information across in the time provided, while also maintaining a more casual feeling which helps prevent the feeling typically felt at school or college where you’re being lectured at for a few hours. The Baltic courses allow attendees to speak up and share their experiences and knowledge, which just helps to keep everyone feeling involved and attentive and adds to the more casual-feeling of the training.

Would you recommend doing an apprenticeship to other people interested in a career in Software Development?

I would definitely recommend this course to anyone interested in Software Development. It teaches many of the basics of the programming languages, but also does a great job of teaching industry standard practices, such as variable naming, design, and testing, which are all very useful skills regardless of what programming language or platform somebody decides to work with.

How do you feel about progressing on to the level 4 programme?

I look forward to further developing my skills and knowledge through the Level 4 programme. I especially think that the Project Management course will be very useful to me from my current experience juggling multiple different projects at once. More Object Oriented Programming training will also be useful as my responsibilities are expected to eventually include C# development in the future, pending further training.

Any additional comments you would like to include?

I would like to say that I am thankful to the opportunities provided to me by px Limited. This job and apprenticeship has had a big impact on me, both professionally and personally, and I hope this improvement and development can only continue during the coming years.