I had just started my first week of second year at University when I got the phone call – I could not have been happier! Kainos offering me a placement was something I had wanted for quite a while. Being inspired by the company had driven me to what I wanted in a career. The offer of placement came off the back of my time as a finalist on AppCamp 2014. I signed the contract and all that was left, was for me to count down the days until my first day of placement.

Before I could be assigned my place in the company and begin working on projects, Kainos wanted to ensure everyone who starts with the company both placements and graduates are prepared, by training us with the necessary skill set any developer would need.The eight-week Trainee Development Program was a valuable asset to getting myself and many others starting out with me, the chance to step into any role with confidence.

On my first project, I got right into some C# coded work, which I wasn’t familiar with at that time. I’ve come such a long way since then. Other work I got involved with included iOS, Android and Web related projects, which aimed to harness the skills I already possessed, and push me further to learn things I never knew before. I was then asked to do a rotation with the Applied Innovations team. This is where I was really pushed out of my comfort zone to reach a higher level of thinking and understanding.

Justin 2

I also got involved with Tech Outreach during my placement. I always wanted to give back, and share my knowledge with those students who were in my shoes six years ago. So passing on that advice, over what I have learned to get myself here, is very rewarding to help the next generation of developers and get them inspired.

In every new challenge I was faced with, there was always a learning curve of some description that I needed to overcome. The great thing about Kainos is that they understand that a lot of what a placement student will encounter, will be new to them, so they give you time to skill up and learn what you need to. If there was something I didn’t know, I could could give myself some time, study a quick course in it and instantly put my new knowledge to good use. Kainos offers a wide range of training courses you can take, and online licenses so you can teach yourself what you need.

Everything this year has been brilliant from start to finish. Learning new languages, experimenting with new offline web technology, building apps and working with a number of talented developers. I have so many great highlights from this year.

We like to have a laugh here, and that’s what I think sets us apart from other companies. At the end of every month folks in the office gather together to have a few payday drinks – great way to socialise and catch up with everyone. Who can forget the time that our CEO bought everyone ice-cream on a rather hot summer day. I had two ice-creams that day…I had no regrets. On top of all that, everyday brings something new. The people that work around me make every day special. Like anyone in the company will tell you, even though we all work hard, it’s a hell of a lot fun doing it.

Throughout my placement, I was treated like a really valuable Kainos employee, not like a student. I have learned so many new skills, and perfected what I already knew to bring them to a higher standard. Learning from everyone around me, the time and advice experienced developers gave meant a lot to me. When I go back to university this year, I can say with confidence that I am going to perform very well. It was the placement year that gave me that confidence, the knowledge, and drive to succeed.

For any student out there seeking a placement, Kainos is a fantastic chance for you to hone your skills and gain an experience you will never forget. We want to see if you have that same passion that everyone here has. To go further, get involved with our CodeCamp and AppCamp over the summer months, not only will these help you learn more skills but it will always give you the flavour of what Kainos has to offer. Placement has been so significant for me in ways I never imagined. A placement year at Kainos, will be a year you will always remember.