Jael’s experience with our AYKO Developer Grad Scheme

Put your hands together for Jael who has successfully completed our Backend PHP Developer grad-scheme! Jael is our second graduate to complete the scheme, and if you also want to hear all about our first graduate Rumen’s experience after reading about Jael’s time on the scheme, click here.

AYKO are proud to offer a full 6-month internal graduate scheme, which is designed purely to build up the necessary skills, experience and knowledge to enable a budding graduate to place their foot firmly on the career ladder, not to mention the amount of confidence they will gain. The programme enables all graduates to develop an excellent base of technical knowledge and professional experience needed through an enriching mix of theory, technical and presentation skills.

A little about Jael before we dive right into her experience on the scheme:

“I studied Arts and Philosophy at University, specialising in Gender Studies and Politics. During the last fifteen years, I have worked as a freelance book editor and ghostwriter for a Spanish publishing company. Getting into programming might seem like a big twist, but it’s nothing more than learning a new language!”

Keep reading to find out what Jael thought of the programme!

Was the course structured in a way that helped you to learn what can be some pretty complicated subjects?

Certainly. The Grad Scheme is structured into several modules, each of which deals with different competencies. First, you learn how to use the tools and platforms the agency works with, so you have the chance to get familiarised with all the workflows and processes before getting into more complex development concepts.

In my case, since I came from a whole different industry and only had little understanding of programming, by the time I got to the last module I was feeling comfortable enough with the context, which allowed me to focus on what was more demanding for me: the content itself. That was also key to avoiding feeling overwhelmed when I started working after completing the course.

Is learning Magento within an Agency setting something that you enjoyed?

Before joining AYKO, I was used to working by myself on small projects I built from scratch. That is fine for a first learning stage, but Magento is huge, and working in an agency gives you the opportunity to go through multiple projects and more experienced approaches.

Seeing what others have developed always helps speed up your learning process and widen your perspective - and the more you learn, the more you enjoy.

Do you feel better prepared for Magento development now?

Absolutely - although it’s an ongoing journey. Now that I’m working, I realise I wouldn’t have made it without completing the Grad Scheme first. As I have already mentioned, Magento offers an incredibly wide range of features, options, and customisations, so it’s important to acquire a solid base of knowledge to be able to ultimately see the big picture.

How did the course differ from your expectations before you started?

My line manager warned me it would be hard and require great effort, and I must admit he was right about that part. But what I couldn’t imagine is that I would be monitored and encouraged daily in such a way as to ensure I was able not only to apply the new concepts but also to truly apprehend them.

At the end of every lesson, they ask you to explain what you’ve learnt in the most clarifying and structured way possible, just like you were teaching someone. Putting all those tricky concepts into simple words helped me a lot in improving both my understanding and my communication skills, especially since English is not my first language and I’ve never lived in an English-speaking environment.

Did you feel supported throughout the course and how did people support you?

I’m deeply grateful for the support provided and the inexhaustible patience from my coworkers. I’m aware the work schedule is tight for everyone, but, even so, they all have always shown a willingness to help me out in whatever I needed.

Besides, when I’m struggling with something, they don’t give me the answer straight away but ask some questions that point toward the final solution. And this is the best way to learn and make real progress, not having everything you need already served on a plate.

Do you feel like you can now achieve your ambitions with AYKO now that you will have your short, medium and long term goals within the team and company?

I do. Because of the kind of person I am, and because this industry is still pretty new for me, sometimes I find it difficult to objectify my ambitions into definite goals. But thanks to my team’s support and guidance, now I can visualise them and truly acknowledge all the progress I’ve made so far. No matter the rate, I’m always moving forward and every day is worth it.

At AYKO we’re always on the lookout for talented and ambitious people like Jael to join our team. Please visit our careers page here if you’re looking for a new challenge today!

Emma Harvey

HR & Executive Assistant