A trainee software engineer recounts his first three months at Calcey

A fresh graduate, without prior experience, stepping into a work environment for the first time, I found exactly what I wanted most in a workplace, in the CHILLED OUT, FRIENDLY VIBE, that engulfs you the minute you walk through the doors. Friendly ‘hi’s, a welcome note from my interviewer himself and a casual dress code found me right at home from the start. All this and I haven’t even got to the Pool table! DREAM workplace or what?

My interview at Calcey, was my first ever and walking in hardly knowing what to expect, I was surprised it lasted as long as an hour. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the deviation from the usual “Question and Answer’ format we have all come to expect of interviews and the test of my personal skills and talents instead. This showed me that this was a company that, not only, placed value on a person’s knowledge in a specific language or technology, but also their ability to swiftly solve problems, improvise and absorb new things. I was able to draw confidence from knowing their decision would be based on the talent and skill I showed, rather than ‘paper proof’- I never once had to take out my file of certificates and documents!

Joining a team working on a new project that had just kicked off, I found myself a little at sea initially working with a new technology unfamiliar to me. Yet the team welcomed me with open arms and guided me (bless these people) throughout the development. I even got the opportunity to sit in and be a part of weekly calls with the client, which was a great experience and invaluable exposure. I have learned through these calls the importance of understanding the end user. That in order to be a successful Software Engineer, one must go beyond the coding to build empathy for end users. To have learned this seemingly simple, yet fundamental, fact so early in my career has shaped my way of thinking and approach in a way that, I believe, could prove to be invaluable to me in the future both professionally and personally. (The world needs more empathy!)

I’ve now been given the opportunity to work on another new project, with two other trainees just like me, where we are allowed to develop independently. Just kidding, we get help from the seniors when we’re stuck!

I would proudly call myself a product of Calcey, for the experiences and technologies I am exposed to here. They, together with the people and their constant support and guidance, are molding me into a better developer than I could have ever imagined 3 months ago.

Photos by Jan Michalko