Version 1 Careers: From Graduate to SharePoint Developer
In our latest Careers Blog we chat to Nikki Wong from our Dublin office who has transitioned from a Graduate to a SharePoint Developer at Version 1.
An organisation is only as strong as its people. That’s why Version 1 seeks out the best and brightest IT graduates each year. Our Accelerate Graduate programme helps to develop critical technology skills whilst building upon strengths and experience gained at third level, in order to make an impact in the rapidly-changing world of IT. We strive to foster talent across the realm of IT, with our specialist focuses being in Digital Development, Cloud & Infrastructure, and Enterprise Application Technologies. This programme prepares graduates for the working world, with most gaining full employment at Version 1 upon completion of the Graduate contract.
Bridget: Hi Nikki. Can you tell us a little background about yourself and your qualifications, and what led you to apply to Version 1?
Nikki: I graduated with a degree in Science and have a Master’s degree in Pharmacology. I realised soon after my Master’s that Pharmacology was not what I wanted as a career. Everything was quite repetitive and I worried that manual roles like this might be replaced with robots in a few years. I thought it would be better to be the one who programs the robot rather than the one to be replaced by the robot. I then decided to do an intensive year-long postgraduate course in Computer Science, and my journey in the IT sector began. I applied to Version 1 because of the opportunities the company provided, and I found that their values were in line with my own.
Bridget: Fantastic. So, what role did you start in, and what role are you in now?
Nikki: I started in as a Graduate SharePoint Developer in early 2018, working on the RCP platform for a multinational client of ours based in Cork. I am still working on this project now as their only full-time Developer. My team consists of 3 members: a part-time Project Manager, a part-time Tech Lead and myself, the full-time Developer. We are creating a Retail Communication Platform – both cloud-based and interactive – using SharePoint which will be a massive improvement to the one our client currently has. I use SharePoint, Azure, ReactJS and Microsoft flows daily.
Bridget: Very interesting and varied. What does your average day look like – what tasks do you undertake?
Nikki: My average day is working through any backlog we might have on DevOps. The tasks are prioritised and different all the time. I mainly oversee testing and code development. I am in direct contact with the product owner when needs require it. We have scrum call with him twice a week as well as other meetings such as backlog sizing, sprint planning etc.
Bridget: What are some of your career highlights since you began working at Version 1?
Nikki: I created the Projects Dashboard which is used by the Project Managers to track the stats of projects across business areas in Version 1. I made this when I was only a few months into Version 1 with very little knowledge of SharePoint, so this is something I am very proud of.
Bridget: What advice would you give to someone looking to get a role on your team?
Nikki: You need to be hard working, self-motivated and have drive! Being flexible and having the willingness to learn will be important because you never know what technology you will end up using, and sometimes it will be something you’ve never used before. So, unless you are willing to learn, you will struggle a bit.
James Cregan, Talent Acquisition Team Lead at Version 1, also gave Bridget his thoughts on what it takes to become a successful SharePoint Developer in today’s market, and what he looks for during the recruitment process to ensure he hires the right candidate.
Bridget: What key attributes do you look for in a new Version 1 employee?
James: We always look for people with a positive attitude and someone who has great communication skills because they will be working with other teams as well as with our clients. Being a good team player is something that we think is very important when hiring for Version 1.
Bridget: What hiring trends are you seeing in the IT industry? Are there many SharePoint Developer roles like Nikki’s at present?
James: Both Ireland and the UK are going through a huge growth in demand for IT roles, with a lot of companies vying for the same people – so this is giving seasoned Developers great opportunities to secure competitive salaries. However, many I have spoken to have said its not just about the money anymore: a career move is as much about what a company can offer them in terms of working with new technologies, career development and flexibility nowadays, all of which are top of mind at Version 1.
Bridget: What advice would you give to some applying to a SharePoint Developer role in Version 1?
James: For me, showing that you are passionate about programming is always good to read – list the languages and technologies you have experience with. Also, a strong portfolio of work does wonders, even if it’s just hobby stuff but be sure to include it as it’ll help your application to stand out.