A day in the life of a software/systems development graduate

The JBA Graduate Scheme offers a range of opportunities across the four main areas of our business, but what is it like joining JBA in a graduate Software/Systems Development role?

“My name is Martin, and I am a graduate software developer for the GIS (Geographical Information Systems) data processing team, based in JBA’s Saltaire office.

I joined JBA in September 2020, mid-way through the pandemic, albeit in a lull between major national lockdowns. Adjusting to a new job and the safety requirements in place after completing my Master’s degree at home was daunting, but made very easy by the warm welcome that JBA gave me.

Working in software there isn’t the variety of outdoor excursions that many others enjoy, however that doesn’t make working at JBA any less varied. Where other roles have varied locations, I have been able to enjoy working on a broad range of different projects. On a typical day I’ll be working on everything from hands-on GIS tasks that require critical thinking in a geographical sense, to projects that allow me to put my Python coding into practice to create scripts that automate GIS processes.

Since joining JBA much of my work has been in flood risk management as the systems used to monitor and measure flood risk are regularly built in GIS packages, which have Python at their core. This has meant my skills have come in very useful across a number of projects. I’ve also worked on a complex scripting job for tidal flood risk management and since the start of the year I’ve been working on version 8 of the Environment Agency’s Flood Risk Map for Surface Water. This project in particular has helped me to combine everything I have done up to now, whilst also teaching me so much at the same time. It has been wonderful to see these long-term projects progress, and the fact that my role allows me to regularly change between projects has kept it feeling fresh for over a year now.

As is the case with starting any new career post-university, you definitely need to be ready for the learning curve. Coming straight from university means that you have to pick up a lot in a short space of time, as you’ve never been in a company setting before. That’s where the Graduate Scheme was most helpful – it turned a challenging prospect into one you could break down into steps and take on bit-by-bit. The Scheme has been excellent in providing a structure for me to follow during my first two years at JBA without intruding on project work. Several modules are on offer to provide information about the JBA way of working, and how best to carry out your work as a new starter.

My advice for anyone considering joining the graduate scheme would be to firstly enjoy it. The Graduate Scheme is there to help and never gets in the way of what you want to do. Use it as an opportunity to connect with other new starters who are at the same point in their careers. Don’t be afraid to self-assess as you go along either. The Graduate Scheme brings measuring your skills to the forefront, and I have been able to track in detail my progress with Python throughout. This has already made me a much better programmer, and as a result I’m more able to take on the challenges given to me!

Grabbing the opportunity with open arms is the best thing you can do to further your career and bolster your skills very quickly during your first two years in JBA.”

Want to know more?

For more information about graduate roles within our Software/Systems Development teams visit our dedicated Software/Systems Development Graduate Recruitment page here.

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