Meet Suhail – Developer

"The ceiling is only as high as your aspirations, just go for it."

Why did you apply to UKCloud?

I am currently Studying Computer Science at University with a placement year, before joining UKCloud I had some app development and Java/C++ exposure. Not too much of a technical background but was eager to learn and apply my skills learnt at A-Level/University. This is what attracted me to UKCloud initially. As well as freedom to learn and be exposed to all sorts of business functions – from the development side straight to operations it’s also a company with a goal I strongly believe in. It’s a company dedicated to the public sector and providing a platform which ultimately save the tax-payer money and time. This was important to me as I wanted to be part of a company which ‘had people at the heart’. It’s a company that has great relations with its placement students and enables them to thrive.

Tell us about your experience

UKCloud has offered me exceptional learning opportunities and exposure. One of my proudest opportunities has been taking on an internal project and deploying it into production. On its own it doesn’t sound too exciting but there were a lot of underlying tech I had to understand to make sure the project would be secure and stable to use. I am now responsible for this project in production, which is a huge responsibility for a student, this is just one of the many examples I have.

UKCloud gave me time to learn and get familiarised with the business first, pairing me with a dev-ops engineer with over 25 years industry experience and allowing me to learn from the best. From day one you get dropped in the deep-end, I had to learn all about how an existing project worked and try to deploy it into production in a whole new environment. There was a very steep learning curve as I had to learn new software and different delivery techniques, but ultimately there was support throughout. I hadn’t even heard of the concept of containers and now I’m deploying containers left right and centre using container orchestration tools such as OpenShift to drive continuous delivery. I’m working with a lot of the ‘under the scenes’ technology, such as Docker, Kubernetes, OpenShift, SSL etc.

Personally, I wanted to learn about the developer-operations side of ‘dev’ and contribute to coding projects. UKCloud allowed me to do this and I’m enjoying every bit. They allow you to purchase resources to help advance your skill set/knowledge, for example if I needed to do a specific course to learn about containerisation they would happily help.

What have you learnt?

While working at UKCloud I have learnt a great deal. I learned Ruby, which was my first time using a dynamically typed language outside of university. I also learned a great deal about the cloud and some of the technologies behind it such as vCloud and OpenStack and a role at UKCloud gives you exposure to a range of languages.

Any advice for someone looking to work here?

First piece of advice I’d give is to learn about the company, research what it does, who the customers are, what are the driving factors of the organisation. The development related positions are brilliant If you’re keen on developing/maintaining code that people are using, brush up on Ruby/Java/Git it will speed up the first few months. If you’re a keen learner and want to improve your interpersonal and practical skills I’d apply, don’t be afraid as I’ve learnt a lot already and I’m only three months in!

UKCloud as a company are a fantastic company for help, whenever I have had a question (which has been a lot more than once) I have felt comfortable going over to anyone and asking away. Everyone is happy to help and that’s so important for myself as an intern. The free breakfast on a Friday, social events and other small benefits really help to make this a fun and productive experience.