empiriecom people: Our Trainees

02. Jan 2019
Johannes Haaf

An apprenticeship is the first step towards a professional life!
School is done, years of learning finally over - and now?
The career aspirations from childhood, such as professional footballer, pilot, princess or veterinarian, have (mostly) vanished into thin air. Instead, you now have a (more realistic) idea of your future.
After you have written and sent applications, have managed interviews and taken a recruitment test, you finally received the long-awaited acceptance.

Just as our two trainees Maximilian and Kai Adrian, who have decided to start their training in computer science. Within three years' time, they will learn the profession of an IT specialist for application development. At the moment, our backend developer and trainer Erik is looking after them during their time with the "Search" team. Here you can find out about the exciting tasks and projects they are taking on and how they like working at empiriecom!

Maximilian (left) is 22 years old and has begun his training at empiriecom in 2017.
Kai Adrian (right) has been with us since September 2018.

How do you like it so far? Or more precisely: are you enjoying it?

Kai: Absolutely! Erik is taking very good care of us and the tasks we are entrusted with are really full of variety. We started by identifying connections between individual methods or extracting data from methods as well as transferring them to other methods.  For example, we first created a digital Sudoku puzzle and then a programm to play "Battleships".
Right now, we are learning mostly through our own small projects. Once we have reached a certain level, we are going to be involved in the daily business.

Maximilian: I agree with Kai! As our instructor, Erik really makes an effort. We never get bored! Usually, once we have finished a task, Erik has already prepared something new for us.

Are you working on your tasks together?

Maximilian: We coordinate things with each other, of course, but in general everyone is programming on his own. After all, we both have to learn how to do it; it would not be of any use if just one person knows how to solve the task. In case one of us has problems, we help each other or go and ask Erik.

Kai: But Erik has already told us that we will soon be working on projects as a team. One of those projects will be a kind of traffic light that monitors whether the servers are running properly. Another one is a messenger bot.

Do you already have a favourite programming language?

Kai: Not yet. Right now, I am learning Java. But I have read about the new Google UI framework "Flutter", which has been written in "Dart" and can be used to create Android and iOS applications on a code base. That sounds very interesting to me and I would like to learn more about it.

Maximilian: Up to now, I know HTML, CSS, JavaScript and also Java, although HTML and CSS are not real programming languages. But I do not really have a favourite language. In my opinion, every language has its advantages and disadvantages.

Backend- or Frontend-Development: Where do you see yourself in this regard?

Kai: At the moment, we are working with Erik in the backend area. I think that suits me well. I do not have any points of comparison yet, but I have a feeling I'm not creative enough for the fronted.

Maximilian: I think I see myself more in the frontend area. I dealt with it in the first year of training and I really liked it. Nevertheless, I do not want to exclude the backend area, because both are a lot of fun for me!

Are you happy with the support you get or would you like to change something?

Both: Very happy! Erik is doing his job really well. He helps us fix our mistakes, but is also expecting a certain level of proficiency. Whenever we get close to this specific level, he raises the bar it a little more and points out other things we can do better or differently.

Kai: We can ask questions at any time. If something bothers us, no matter if technical or interpersonal, we can always talk to him openly and clear out any problems.

What do you think of your colleagues?

Maximilian: They are great! The atmosphere is really pleasant and the colleagues are very nice. I absolutely appreciate it, because something like that cannot be taken for granted.

Kai: It is a really pleasant atmosphere and a very easy start. The feeling of being "just a trainee" does not arise at all.

How do you like the agile way of working?

Maximilian: At the moment, it does not really affect us. Nonetheless, we get to know the dailies or the sprint process from our colleagues. I have already participated in the Agile Basic Knowledge-Training; and Kai is going to be taking part, too. Before that, I knew very little about what is involved in working ‘agile’. This is explained very well in the training. I think the agile way of working is really interesting. It increases transparency and communication within the team. Working this way uncovers mistakes or problems that can be improved or eliminated immediately within the next sprint. This continuous improvement could probably not happen that quickly any other way. But Kai and I are already working our own "agile way" by dividing up our tasks with regards to this method.

Kai checks his code with Rubber Duck debugging. What is that supposed to be? See our explanation on Instagram

What are you working on right now?

Kai: We are currently working on a program that is going to display holidays as well as bridge days and a potential vacation period. Using this program, you can organise when to take a vacation very easily.

Furthermore, I am working on a letter recognition program for my "Hangman-Solver", which we had created during a previous project.
The recognition should take over when our solver runs out of any potential words and should then detect the best possible letter on the basis of already guessed letters.

Soon, Maxi and I will work on a chat together, which will make it possible to gather first experiences within the visual aspects in Java.

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