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S1:E3 – Start of an apprentice journey

<Title>The First Week</Title>
Suit? Check! Haircut? Check! Nerves? Double Check!
The week started as normal for any new job, paper work, filling out forms, health and safety, you know the rest. It was not until the afternoon when the interesting part of the day started, this was the moment I realised I know nothing in comparison to a senior developer.

Chucked into the deep end with a couple of bricks tied to my feet with some starved sharks swimming around me is how I can explain my first task. “Hi Andrew, first of all take a look at our Finance System, there are a few bugs on it which need to be resolved. Just see what you can do.” Imagine that, fresh out of college, no wait still in college with the most basic programming knowledge looking at hundreds of different classes, methods and algorithms. Completely blank… thinking how did I get into this situation.

The finance system was written within visual studio using the .Net framework with the programming language of C#.  I was giving a bug list of about 15 bugs and I spent a week trying to resolve them. To my surprise with a lot of googling, research and book reading, I started to advance my knowledge and fix about 3 of the bugs but I was hopeless with the rest, the system was to complex and advanced for a newbie within the programming world. Luckily, the company realised that the system was to advance (I was their first programming apprentice).

<Title>New Week New Task</Title>
The second week was a fresh start with a new application, the business decided to give me some time to learn and help my self progress with time and resources. My new task was a small challenge which involved using SQL Database and storing some data within a table and retrieving it back out of the database. With my basic knowledge I was then Using SQL to connect to a local host database using the INSERT, SELECT, UPDATE and DELETE commands. Boy is this easy code 5 years later, its second nature however, with not much guidance as an apprentice developer in my starting days This took me around a month to fully study, learn and complete the application connecting to the SQL Database.

Funny Side Story: When I was stuck in places and my boss stood behind me to see how it was going, I just designed the WinForms too look really good (Drag and Dropping controls) so it looked like I knew what I was doing.

<Title>The First Few Months</Title>
As an apprentice with minimal experience, just some college knowledge, the company that hired me realised that I needed time to progress and gave me lenience in deadlines. If I’m honest, the first 6 months was mostly myself going above and beyond to really learn and progress at work, college and also my own time. It didn’t take me long to realise this was my opportunity, now or never. The company I joined was a relatively small company 10 employees max when I left (June 2017) , and my C.E.O was a senior developer but always on contract so incredibly hard to get time with. For this reason, I was very much self taught learnt a lot of helpful online resources (Stackoverflow = Life Saver) and also purchasing some relating programming books to help build up my theory.

<Title>College and Work</Title>
I was putting an incredible amount of time into learning programming as I felt so over whelmed by my first task but this helped me progress with college. Imagine being in a position in college as a student where the teacher was not able to answer all of your class mates questions but you could. Big  for my boots? I think not.. Hard work and dedication to seize and opportunity to help me start developing into my career as a computer programmer.

In my final programming unit at college which was game design (article S1:E1) I was able to complete “Bond Hunter” in a reasonable quick time and help my class mates complete their projects. What a feeling and of course my college class mates were also incredibly happy to accept the advice.

<Title>Summary of my first few months as an apprentice</Title>
Essentially the first few months of being an apprentice software developer was having the opportunity, environment and allowance in time to really progress my self and start making my self into a good developer. At the same time, I was getting paid a basic wage while I was learning in college and work, what more could you want? This will also lead onto a further article within this series of my diary to why I am more happy with this career path than going to university and racking up a huge debt.

Until Next Time.

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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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