ASDA's Software Developer Apprentice Played Vital Role in ‘Scan & Go’ App

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For ASDA, hiring its software talent through apprenticeship schemes is crucial to creating a strong pipeline of skilled and loyal developers. In our latest case study, we caught up with Peter Yeo, Software Development Manager at ASDA, to discuss Kane’s impressive professional progress over the course of his apprenticeship 👇🏼

Tell us about your company and the role that software plays inhouse.

Asda is a leading grocery retailer in the UK, operating over 1000 stores and serving millions of customers every week. Software plays a critical role across all aspects of the business, from managing supply chain and logistics to streamlining in-store operations and enhancing the customer experience.

Why did you choose to hire a Software apprentice?

We actively seek out talented software apprentices at Asda for several reasons. Our past experiences with apprentices have been very positive; our Asda IT has a strong track record of nurturing these talents and helping them flourish into skilled software engineers.

We have noticed that Software apprentices bring fresh perspectives, a strong willingness to learn, and a deep desire to contribute to real-world projects. Our investment in apprenticeships allows us to build a pipeline of future talent while supporting the development of the next generation of IT professionals.

When hiring your Software apprentice, what did you want to get out of the process?

Through our software apprenticeship programme, we aimed to find a talented and motivated individual with a strong aptitude for learning and a passion for technology.

During our recruitment process, we decided to host an open day which was a great way to efficiently meet a large pool of potential apprentices.

Baltic sourced a majority of the candidates for the open day – I was particularly impressed by the calibre of the candidates and their enthusiasm for a career in software engineering!

What has your Software apprentice achieved and how have they grown professionally?

In 3 months…

In 3 months, Kane established a solid foundation in JavaScript and React Native, a valuable skill for mobile app development and gained an initial understanding of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) through working on a complete application.

He developed a store sales application using his new knowledge of JavaScript and React Native, demonstrating his ability to grasp core software development concepts and apply them to a practical project.

In 6 months…

At the 6 months mark, Kane enhanced his problem-solving skills – he began tackling technical challenges related to the receiving application and gained confidence in working independently by taking ownership of assigned tasks (tickets).

He successfully transitioned from building applications to contributing to the receiving team, and began taking ownership of tickets, demonstrating his ability to solve problems independently and apply his knowledge in a real-world team environment.

In 1 year…

After a year, Kane progressed from requiring supervision to becoming a more independent engineer. He developed a strong understanding of the receiving application and its functionalities, which is evident through his increased ability to handle complex tasks.

In addition to the impressive points covered above, I’d like to add that Kane is an absolute pleasure to work with. His positive attitude is infectious, and his willingness to help others creates a supportive and collaborative environment.

He consistently demonstrates a strong work ethic and a genuine desire to learn. Kane’s ability to adapt, solve problems, and contribute meaningfully across various projects makes me confident he has a bright future ahead of him at Asda.

How has your apprentice grown personally over the course of the apprenticeship?

Since joining Asda straight from school, Kane has demonstrated impressive growth, not just in his technical skillset but also in his confidence.

He has tackled a diverse range of products, some high-profile and others more technical (Scan & Go, Newsflash, Rewards, receiving), showcasing his adaptability. This is further evidenced by his participation in hackathons, where he problem-solved alongside experienced colleagues.

Kane has also stepped outside his comfort zone by helping interview other apprentices and presenting to audiences, demonstrating his developing confidence and communication skills. While Kane’s consistent effort and positive attitude are commendable, his greatest achievement lies in his demonstrated adaptability and problem-solving skills.

Faced with a required change to his final project, Kane didn’t hesitate to adapt. He leveraged his existing knowledge and tackled the new challenge with a positive attitude, showcasing his resourcefulness and commitment.

What direct impact has your Software apprentice had on your team and wider organisation?

Kane’s contributions have positively impacted both our team and the wider organisation.

Within the team, his work has demonstrably improved efficiency, by quickly playing a part in the team and taking on work. His eagerness to learn fosters knowledge sharing and his positive attitude boosts team morale.

On a broader scale, Kane’s success as an apprentice showcases Asda’s commitment to developing future talent.

What is the biggest project your Software apprentice has worked on so far?

Kane has made significant contributions to several key Asda applications that directly impact business efficiency and customer experience. Most notably, Kane has had the opportunity to work on two significant projects during his apprenticeship: Scan and Go and the Rewards App.

Scan & Go

By updating the logging system for “Scan & Go,” Kane has improved troubleshooting capabilities, which likely translates to faster resolution times for customer issues and a smoother shopping experience.

Rewards Application

His work on updating dependency packages ensures a more secure and robust rewards system, potentially leading to increased customer trust and loyalty.

How has your Software apprentice helped ease your team’s workload?

Kane has played a significant role in alleviating the team’s workload. By taking ownership of assigned tasks (tickets) on the many different applications over the past three years, he has freed up valuable time for senior developers to focus on more complex projects. This not only improved overall efficiency but also allowed for a more optimal distribution of workload within the team.

Has your Software apprentice successfully helped the Software team utilise new programmes?

While Kane hasn’t directly implemented entirely new programmes, he has recently begun working with the Nexus framework. He has quickly grasped the concepts and has been very successful in applying them to his work. His positive attitude and willingness to learn have made him a valuable asset during this transition.

Has your Software apprentice provided a good return on investment?

Kane’s apprenticeship has proven to be a valuable investment for Asda. His contributions to core projects like Scan and Go and the Rewards programme have yielded tangible results with the software that he has helped to create.

How did you find Baltic’s online training?

Overall, we found Baltic’s online training to be well-structured and informative. It provided a solid foundation in the core concepts relevant to software development.