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S1:E2 – Interview Process For a Programming Apprenticeship

 

<Title> Setting The Background </Title>
How many of you got into a programming career with a university degree? How many of you got into programming without a university degree? I bet most of you have a university degree! However… myself, Andrew, never went to university, but I am just as successful as every other developer. Instead I enrolled on a college course and I got into programming via an apprenticeship.

I have spoken to a lot of developers and asked them about their interview process; following completion of a work placement and of course a university degree. So apart from the technical questions and maybe a small technical test you can probably guess how most of the interview is going to go. But what is the interview process like for someone who has not got a university degree, has not had any work placements and only half way through a college course?

So here is my diary entry of what it is like to go for an apprenticeship development role.

<Title>The Build Up</Title>
I had just completed the first year of my college course, HNC Computing and started my second year which was HND Computing. Yea, I done some programming.. If you count Hello World and other small programs but I was pretty good at them. The college spoke to me and mentioned of an apprenticeship position coming up in software development C# programming. I was like hey, lets give this a go! So, I updated my C.V (Profile) and sent it off to the company who was hiring. Now what? I guess like any other situation you just carry on with life as normal and almost forget about the whole situation.

<Title>The Phone Call</Title>
I actually had another job at the time, in a theme park (cool job right, free entry all the time) where I worked in a restaurant kitchen and.. I missed the call. Quickly googling the number on who called I found it was the company who I had sent my C.V off too. Oh God! *wipes brow* They’re calling me? Maybe they’re interested? I put this in the back of my head and nearly forgot about it! What questions are they going to ask me?

So I found somewhere quiet and called them back with my politest voice: “Hello, I have a missed call from this number?” The Reply “Ah yes, is this Andrew? I’m calling from “Company” and there was just a couple of things we want to discuss with you. * Heart Beats *. We discuss what I’m learning in college, my availability, what interested me about the role and the conversation was going well. It probably lasted about 15 minutes in all then they invited me in for an interview the next week.

An interview.. For a programming apprenticeship? You mean foot straight in the door of a software developer company? I mean! Hell yea! Okay relax, lets prepare for this interview.

<Title>The Interview</Title>
FULLY SUITED AND BOOTED! 18 year old me, nerves on a all high, tummy fluttering! Do I even want this job? Of course I do. Try to be calm, I got this. Like any interview, you arrive early, sitting in the reception waiting for your name to be called out. “Hi, Andrew”, that’s my number into a meeting room we go rethinking of the Object Orientated Principles (OOP): polymorphism, inheritance and encapsulation with any other basic technical knowledge I had at the time.

After recently going through the interview process for a software developer with 5 years experience (For another series) it is completely different compared to an apprenticeship role. The company was fully understanding that my knowledge was basic and they expected this. What they wanted from me was passion and drive. Have I got what it takes to develop, adapt, drive my self forward with my current basic knowledge and turn it into something powerful?

Of course they asked me some basic technical questions, they wanted to know where my knowledge level was, and yes it was basic but is that not the point of an apprenticeship to learn on the job? It appeared what they wanted to see was if I had enough basic technical knowledge and the will power to grow my self with some guidance. That is exactly what I demonstrated to them.

<Title>Andrew, The Apprentice</Title>
You guessed it, i got it! This is really just the start of my journey of my journey and the rest of this season is going to be telling you my journey as an apprentice with all the pros and cons to give you a full insight.

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Andrew
Dvlpr.Diaries.

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My name is Andrew, passion for anything technical and fast. I am a software developer from London quick background check I started as an apprentice desktop developer and 5 years later and 2 jobs later i am now a desktop, web and mobile app developer working for a company just outside of London.

My passions is obvious and i love to share and talk about it which is why i am starting developer diaries, a spin off from my popular world of programmers page with over 100,000 fans world wide.

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