Name – Jordan Crangle
Company – Allstate NI
Role – Placement Software Developer
Degree – BEng Software Engineering
Talk us through your typical work day?
Typically my day would begin with checking my email for any updates from teams based in either the India or US sites. After this, as we are working in the Agile methodology, I would check the project Kanban board to see what work item(s) are in ‘To-Do’ status, pick an item and begin to analyse. During the analysis, I search through the code-base to locate the relevant code and make updates as required. After making an update, I test the newly implemented code by debugging and evaluating the output.
The development team also has a daily stand-up meeting to discuss the progress made for that day as well as any issues discovered. One of the main positives of my role is continuously learning about new aspects of functionality involved in the system. Also being able to develop my technical abilities and explore new areas is a huge benefit.
What has surprised you the most?
A standout aspect, which has surprised me, would be the time that the company has dedicated into allowing their workers to improve and expand their knowledge and capabilities. The company provides a range of in-house training across numerous areas as well as extensive training outside of Allstate E.g. Access to online learning resources. Employees are encouraged to attend and avail of the training as it helps better them in their role within the company.
What has been your biggest challenge and achievement?
The biggest challenge has been learning to negotiate and understand the corporate world. The technical side of things was manageable due to my previous experience in the programming language that was being used, whereas it was the business processes that proved more difficult to become accustom to, but became easier to pick up on after gaining more experience. My biggest achievement so far has been having the opportunity to gain real world experience in the software development process as well as being able to build upon my capabilities further whilst leaning new material.
What skills and qualities have you developed through your role?
During my time with Allstate I have developed in various areas. Gaining industry experience has not only enhanced my technical abilities, but equally I feel that I have gained invaluable exposure to working as part of a team. I have boosted my communication skills by being given the opportunity to complete presentations/demos, and I also improved my problem solving ability through working on tasks.
What first attracted you to the role?
There were many appealing factors when applying for the position at Allstate, the standout being the wide range of areas that the company had available to offer to placement students. There were roles covering the following areas: Software Development/Software testing/Infrastructure and Hardware/Field support.
Having so many areas to apply for really allowed me focus in on which area I believed would be of most benefit to my career as some of the areas being offered were relevant to my university course which would provide an excellent opportunity to build upon my current ability. Also when applying, the company struck me as a very friendly and employee-orientated place to work, underpinned by a culture of recognition and reward.
How do you think this will help your future career?
What I am currently learning is providing valuable experience and a strong foundation for my career. The training that I have undergone has provided extremely beneficial experience as it has allowed me to become more confident in the role and the experiences I have encountered have aided my own personal development. Being involved on a project team has allowed me to experience the workings and processes involved in creating new software functionality that will help me in the future.
Top Tips for applying for a placement role.
Research background information about the company and what they do to ensure it is the kind of placement that you would enjoy and could learn most from. It’s important that you have an interest in what it is the placement will involve and the work you will be undertaking.
Show you are enthusiastic, determined and willing to push yourself rather than sticking with what you already know and are comfortable with. New experiences will allow you to gain knowledge in different areas and can be a great benefit to your future career. Placement is a great opportunity to develop new skills and build upon existing ones.