A graduate’s journey at Vidatec

Published: 08/10/2020
Author: Oskar Kuklinski, Junior Developer

Oskar KuklinskiIt’s been almost a year now since I’ve joined Vidatec team as a Junior Developer and it was a great journey with many interesting experiences and working with such amazing people.

My journey started with an assessment day, I was briefed by Glen (recruiter) who explained to me what to expect, and the sort of skills the company is looking for. After doing some research about Vidatec and its products, I prepared my CV, printed out some of the code from my work and was ready for the assessment day.

The assessment day took place in the central Edinburgh where our office is currently located. There were eight candidates and only three could be accepted for the grad scheme. We started with an introduced to our assessors together with a short ice breaker including describing myself using first letter of my name and drawing a candidate sitting next to me.

After the introduction, it was a time for individual interviews for which I was lucky enough to go first. As stressed as I was, I found the interview not too hard and more in an informal chat which helped put me at ease. The questions were mostly about me and my experience with coding and work, technologies I know, and I find interesting, some feedback and discussion on the first assessment coding tasks. Between the interviews, we were asked to solve test with open questions about technology news, our strengths and weaknesses and personality (i.e. three people to invite for a dinner and why?). After all interviews, we had a lunch break and after that it was a time for a group work where the task was to list fifteen items by the importance from given ones that could be useful on the moon. It was an interesting experience with most of candidates shouting over each other trying to contribute as much as they could and trying to get noticed, arguing over each item and in the result of this chaos I was able to contribute less than I’d like. It obviously wasn’t as bad as I thought when I received a call from Glen two days later informing me that I did well and in fact they’re happy to employ me. With a big relief I was getting ready for my first day in the office.

First day at the Stirling office was filled with plenty of meetings, presentations and setting up. Everything was very new to me as my previous workplaces were either restaurants, bars or food deliveries so this new set up could be a little intimidating. We got to know the organisation structure and what teams we are included together with line managers. A big help in meeting people working in the office and getting knowledge about the industry was a shadowing exercise where we had to schedule a meeting with someone from each department in the company and get to know what they do and what is their job. It was a quite daunting exercise talking to everyone and scheduling meetings, but the fact that we were working together in a team of three definitely made it easier. The first months were pretty much filled up with e-learning courses on Node.js and React Native with occasional workshops and tasks. With all the knowledge from our learning months we ready for our Vidatec Hackathon project.

We started our Hackathon project with a design workshops where we decided on the app idea and what problems could it target. From all ideas that were suggested during the workshop, we decided on a travelling/social app that allows for creating and organising a trip, inviting friends and the in-app chat. That’s how TravelBudddies was our project for a next 3-4 weeks. Even though when looking at this app from a perspective of time now seems very cringy, it was definitely a great exercise for coding and team collaboration. Especially collaboration as at the beginning for few days, we were somehow working on three completely different versions of the app. After all the time spent on our little Hackathon project, we were finally ready to present the app and receive the feedback.

After about three months of training at Vidatec, we were ready to work and contribute to the client projects. First project I was assigned to was RyVita, a fibre tracking app where I was working together with my line manager Andrea. It was definitely a great practical experience to work on a real project with Agile methodologies. All the stand-ups and splitting work in Jira were completely new to me but I got used to them fairly quickly. Writing code to the project, reviewing Andrea’s code and getting feedback had also a big impact on my learning and getting to know the best code practices and better knowledge about technology we’re using.

Throughout my experience with Vidatec, I’ve contributed now to several projects and not only as a dev but also as QA tester or a help in a support. The whole experience definitely made me confident working on client projects and after meeting all the amazing people here I know if there is any problem, I know I can ask someone for help.