Work Experience - Thomas and Carys

Thomas and Carys share details about their work experience placement with Mesomorphic.

Thomas and Carys share details about their work experience placement with Mesomorphic.

Day One

How we spent our October holidays was in Mesomorphic where we, Thomas and Carys, learned what a professional working environment was like and how software development companies worked.

We listened to the Agile development process and we made some Python programs. We completed the spreadsheet in the morning it was about a sponsored trip, we had to sort, label and date the receipts. It was really interesting learning about how the developers communicated and what kind of language they used. We also went over unit testing at the end of the day. It was useful to see how testing works in an real life situation. Neither of us knows Ruby that well so it was kind of difficult to comprehend. When doing the Python programs we utilized pair programming and gained an insight into the benefits of working on software with other people.

Day Two

We shadowed Finlay and Matthew when they were doing unit tests on Ruby, we discussed coding resources for coding club and briefly reviewed them. Our comprehension of Ruby is still limited but the unit tests were interesting to see how they would actually be implemented. It also gave us a view of how important testing can be and the reassurance it gives the programmer and the client. We reviewed eight different online resources for learning to code, but our favourite was Code Monkey. We found that each different resource would be suited to different age groups. These resources would be used for code club - a club for kids learning how to code, so it was fundamental to give clear reviews. We also included screenshots which captured the visual essence of these resources, this is of massive importance as we have found that children love pictures.

Day Three

In the morning we continued to explore some of the better resources to better write the reviews, further identifying solid and legitimate learning resources for the Mesomorphic CodeClub. We watched Finlay and Maria discuss normalizing a spreadsheet into a database. This was interesting as we had been over database normalisation in school so seeing it in a real life situation was very useful. We had a short chat with Finlay and Matthew about our personal qualms with different high-level languages but we all conceded visual basic was the worst. We also established that each language has its own use and that every language has different pros and cons. Furthermore we worked on a Python program for the Cyber Dojo resource, which we found challenging but fun.

Day Four

We started off the day by working on this blog. Then we finished our reviews of the games for CodeClub. We also finished our paired programming project, it was very rewarding to finish such a challenging program. The program calculates the cost of books and each book has a different discount. After lunch we got started on making a GitHub project. We used Django which is a framework for Python to create an website to complete polls on. It is linked to Python which means that programs can be run through a website. It was interesting to learn about GitHub as many companies use this site or similar sites to store coding projects. Maria explained the git commands to us, this was confusing at first but with the aid of a diagram it became more clear. It was cool to learn about as we had never come across GitHub before. We also learned more about how the development process works and the different branches that are involved.

Day Five

Yet again we started off the day writing this blog. We then started work on the Django project. The Django project was interesting, we are making a poll website, we have completed a large majority of it. Thomas rewrote the Python project to make it more efficient, he also went over the payroll which was very informative whilst Carys went to the dentist. Maria then explained a ongoing project and how the client side was important. We learned that the clients access the master branch and the software designers work on the staging branch which feeds back into the master branch for the client to use. In the afternoon we got hot chocolate and listened to Matthew and Barnaby doing this week’s code review. It was really interesting to hear how developers fix problems with code and test the code. We learned about refactoring code, it is where you shorten the amount code but still have it perform the same task. We used this skill to cut down on our own project.

Thanks to Mesomorphic for having us this week. We really appreciate them letting us come along and see how things work in a software design company. We hope to work with you again in the future.

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