It’s a grad world: Accelerated development
After graduating from university in Liverpool and getting a job at ITL, I was faced with the decision of whether to move to Oldham to be close to the office or to stay in my hometown. I decided to stay put and put my life in the hands of the rush hour commute gods. Initially, my lack of driving licence made for a very difficult journey into work and left me questioning my decision to stay in Liverpool. I needed to walk to Lime Street, catch a train to Piccadilly, from Piccadilly get a tram to Oldham and then walk from the tram stop to the office. If everything ran smoothly, I could expect the journey to take over 2 hours but I should emphasise – things never ran smoothly. There were just too many moving parts to expect an easy commute each morning, that’s why I was so happy to get my licence and safely drive to work cocooned in my little car.
As a Graduate Software Engineer, I spend most of my day dealing with ITL’s current software, as well as coming up with new software ideas. To begin with, I was involved with editing our Validator Manager software to improve usability and generally improve the user’s experience. Once I had gained a good understanding of how Validator Manager worked, I was tasked with creating my own build of Validator Manager that would allow me to give the user greater control over ITL products, the ability to install different firmware and the power to set option flags. Building an entirely new software program has been tough and sometimes progress is simply determined by trial and error but I’m learning more now than I ever have before. Help is always available from the team around me but most of the time I am happy to plough ahead and try and figure things out by myself.
I think it’s helpful when doing a job that you actually enjoy what you are doing and thankfully I’m able to do that here. I’m using the same software at ITL as I did at university so there has been a relatively smooth transition from that perspective. I’m in the same boat as a number of other grads in this office, in that this is my first job since graduating and there is a learning curve both for the actual job and getting comfortable in an office environment. It’s been a great benefit to work with lots of people my own age – it makes a difference when there are people who are of a similar age an personality with whom you interact each day.
Summer (or what passes for Summer in the UK) has arrived, which means that our social committee has been coming up with ideas about how to make best use of the weather. It turns out we’re going to be holding an ITL Summer Olympics at the end of July, which will take place at the head office and will bring together members of the ITL team from offices across the world. I’ve been told stories about these “international” events from years prior (including a UK vs. the Rest of the World football match) and apparently things can get quite heated! These kind of events are always a great opportunity to meet colleagues from abroad that you don’t get to see or speak to very often due to conflicting time zones and geographical location.