Straight In

Published by Ben on Sept 3, 2015 at 12:02pm

Here we are, employed and ready to train.  Writing a blog so that if everything goes as well as hoped, two more trainees will get to read these ramblings either as inspiration or maybe I will look back in a few months and end up deciding I was hopeless and wonder how I got anywhere.

It was back in May when I got some incredible news that Antelle accepted me into the company, in lieu of the other trainee finishing his A-Levels and myself on holidays throughout the summer saw us agree on a start date almost three months away, time aplenty to prepare and groom for a first day at work.  The other trainee I didn’t know about for quite a while but turned out to be no other than Joe Grundy.  Whom I was familiar with from not just Castle Rushen High School and the Manx Air Cadets.

It was a while coming but Joe and myself came in the front door of Antelle on Monday 24th of August.  Introductions to the team and setting up our work area were the first steps into an engaging first week.  Some programs I recognised and some I really had no idea what they were for until Tony simple let us loose on the systems for a few hours to “play”.  

After the two of us were settled in and felt reasonably comfortable the fun started.  We were talked through a brief by Tony about the first piece of work we would be engaging in, designing a responsive E-mail template and a responsive Newsletter.  With neither of us overly familiar with web design we both started working on the project straight away, a wealth of online and paperback knowledge later we were making tentative steps.

A lot of the work in web design is behind the scenes, it took a day and a half before anything truly ‘appeared’ on my E-mail template, even then there were more bugs than HTML and CSS objects.  Starting from scratch essentially meant that some trial and error is involved.  This led to equal parts “Oh no why isn’t it working?” and “Oh wow, why is this working?”  The learning curve with HTML and CSS is the summation of “Easy to learn, hard to master.” Thankfully the task that was at hand didn’t require a master of web design.

Snap forward to the end of the week, the first piece of work had ended up a very functional but very messy piece of work.  Having a double project does let you immediately apply what you’ve learned to another job and helps compound it all.  With that done Joe and I were exposed to our first code review, wherein the infinitely more experienced developers get under the skin of what we made and walk us through things that we filed under ‘Good’, things we filed under ‘Bad’ and some we just filed under ‘Things’.

Things didn’t start slowly but I think we’re much better for it, we’ve picked up a good work ethic already, we’ve started our second week after a long bank holiday weekend and we’re once more jumping into untested water, we are quickly learning the latest in an industry that keeps rolling onwards, it’s a “blank book to be written in” sort of affair.

Come the end of the year we’ll see how things have gone, Joe and myself will hopefully be working towards being fully capable to help the company and solve more and more on our own.  The onus is on the two of us to impress enough to persuade Antelle to continue with this unique training scheme and a year from today some new trainees may be sat where I am right now, working on their first blog post as well.


This is the first of many blog posts as I work towards becoming a full developer at Antelle IT Ltd. Thank you for reading the Blog.


Ben Thrussell.

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