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Jack Fagan for Dam Digital

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Im 17 working as a software development apprentice, Ask Me Anything!

Hi!
Im 17 years old and 7 months into my software development apprenticeship in london primarily doing web development. Ive learnt both front end and back end development and want to answer your questions to spread how an apprentice can benefit your company and for people my age show that it could be a better route than UNI :) thanks

AMA

Discussion (18)

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MetaDave 🇪🇺

We've looked into the UK apprenticeship system as an employer, but it seems to place an emphasis on certifications, and those can be tricky to come by except through vendor programmes: Microsoft, Oracle, etc..

This seems to make it difficult to manage an apprenticeship program in a 100% open source environment.

Does that sound correct from what you know, and was it something you had to consider?

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Jack Fagan Ask Me Anything

There are many different Apprenticeship companies that run alongside with the Governments Apprenticeship scheme such as Estio Training and QA. With my apprenticeship Estio Training take me out of work 8 weeks in my year long Apprenticeship and train me and sit me my exams. They handle all the qualificational bits and my employer then just gets to concentrate on training me for my job and the work in my company rather than hassling with attempting to set official exams etc. For an employer its much better to hire an apprentice through an official Appretenticeship company as you take no part in the certifications!

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databasesponge profile image
MetaDave 🇪🇺

Thanks

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Balogh Ákos

What did you learn to get the job? What things were you focusing on? How was the interview?
How should I prepare for the same route?

Thank you!

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Jack Fagan Ask Me Anything

Hey Balogh,
I learnt Python and SQL to get the job even though i am not using it in my job it showed i am able to understand. Personally i think companies arent bothered about what you know, i think they care about being your willing to learn.
The interview went really well for me you should just express your desire to learn and try to show your maturity as you don't want a company to think they are hiring someone too young/immature.

Work experience and examples of your work too!

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Balogh Ákos • Edited

Hey Jack!
Thank you for taking the time!
These were the same things I was thinking about for the first time. But as it turned out, people in Hungary are quite not the same.
Maybe I should apply for jobs abroad..

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Jack Fagan Ask Me Anything

Sure thing, over the last couple of years theres been a big push for apprenticeships in the UK. So maybe you could consider :)

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Richard Ballard

Glad to hear the interview went well Jack. Could be a bit awkward at work if it hadn’t! 😜

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Juan F Gonzalez

At first, I read "I have 17 years working as a development apprentice" and I was like "Whaaaat? that's waaaay too much time for an apprenticeship"

But now onto the questions, did you do a full CS degree or you took a boot camp? what was that pivotal moment when you went from fresh student to "knowing enough to get a job".

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Jack Fagan Ask Me Anything • Edited

Haha, i hope im not doing an apprenticeship for 17 years :).

I did neither, i learnt the fundamentals of programming and learnt basic Python, MySQL and VB in school at the age of 15 and played around with it in my free time. My company was happy to allow my to join the company and mould me and teach me what i should know. The first 2 months was just learning HTML SCSS and C# doing little to none work. Alot of companies now are hiring young people with no knowledge to mould them into their apprentice.

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Duc Nguyen

Hi Jack!
What programming language are you learning right now? How do you start learning it? What are your plans for the next few years?

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Jack Fagan Ask Me Anything

Im learning both front end and back end so SCSS HTML, C# and SQL. However in the future i plan to learn C# in more depth.
codecademy.com/
pluralsight.com/
freecodecamp.org/
are all good sights that i used to begin learning

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Andrew Bone

How far does your formal education go? Are you doing this straight after GCSEs, A Levels or something else?

What level qualification do you get after completing the apprenticeship?

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Jack Fagan Ask Me Anything

Hi Andrew, i completed my GCSEs and during them took Computer Science where i was introduced to software and found my passion there. It was my first practices of Python that helped me really get into software. After doing A-Levels for 4 months i realised 2/4 of the subjects i was taking (History and English) was not related to computing and i knew i wanted to have a career in Computing/Software. So i left A-Levels to focus more on Computing/Software and my apprenticeships gives me A-Level equivalents (Microsoft Certified) so i am not at a disadvantage :)

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Anton

What is the difference between an apprentice and a junior developer?

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Jack Fagan Ask Me Anything

Hey Anton,
I see an apprenticeship as more of a learning experience, in replacement of school/college/uni where as a junior developer as a less experienced / lower down position. Thats how i see it :)

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Jess Lee (she/her)

What was the first thing you worked on as an apprentice?

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Jack Fagan Ask Me Anything

I started off doing internal work, learning the ropes and all. However my first external, serious project was adding new menu pages for a pizza company, just basic CSHTML pages, it then progressed to more serious work like a log in page etc.