07/02/20193 Min Read — In Apprenticeship

It's the beginning of July, which means that half of my apprenticeship time is already over. This post is all about my time here at HolidayCheck, how I got here, what I've learned, and how it proceeds.

How I got here

The key point for me was the See-IT Meetup in Konstanz, where Wolfram gave a talk about the apprenticeship program. I remember how pleasant the atmosphere and the conversations there were. It was also amazing seeing Wolfram not only building up and mentoring the apprenticeship program but living and breathing it! Kudos! I immediately recognized that the apprenticeship was exactly what I'm curious about: improving skills, get to know new things and areas, understand how the company works and get involved. However, before I could start the apprenticeship, there was the interview process … 😉

The Interview Process

The interview process for the apprenticeship consists of several stages and is therefore very extensive. It is also the most comprehensive process I have ever seen and gone through, including video interviews, a take-home-challenge, a subsequent code-review, and last but not least the onsite-interviews. During this whole process you can gather some first impressions about the company and of course clarify open questions about the apprenticeship program, the company, or any other related things. I have to say that I found all the conversations very pleasant, which is partly due to the interviewers, but also to the fact that you are on a first-name basis with all the people. This took some of my tension 😃 Although it was a long process, I have to say that it is definitely worth it!

Review of the past three months

The first phase (called The Basics) is already over for a month. During my first two months, I focused mostly on learning the basics of Elixir and TDD. I also decided to put the main focus on TDD and refactoring for now. I noticed that I really enjoy TDD since it gives me a feeling of safety because the short feedback cycle informs me immediately if my code passes the tests. The Basics phase has not only helped me to learn a new language or to start practicing TDD (although it will still be a long journey!) but also to learn to find my way in a new environment and to organize myself and my work better. Right now, I'm in the middle of my Business Phase and sometimes I have to make trade-offs whether I want to focus on my topics or to go with the team (btw: this is really a luxury problem 😛). So far, I have mostly decided to spend the time with the team and their tasks. In my opinion, the business phase is actually fantastic because you get so many insights into different areas, topics, and projects. In conversations with colleagues from other areas, I also noticed that many of them appreciate the business phase idea and would like to do one on their own. I can only repeat over and over again of how exciting this phase of apprenticeship is for me, really!

What will be next?

I have one month left in the business, where a few more days in "non-IT" areas and the rest of the time I'll join two tech-teams :-) I am already super curious, what will expect me there. I hope that the next stations in my business phase will be just as exciting as the previous ones. In addition to that, I started to make thoughts about potential masterpiece project ideas. I'm not quite sure which direction to take yet, but I think collecting ideas and writing them down is a good first step towards it. I also have a few weeks left :-) I'm looking forward to it!

Btw: yesterday two features I worked on for a few days were released. So far it seems that it is working 😁 But I also wrote quite a couple of tests in beforehand. 🙃