How Seth (the work experience student) helped drive our business forward

A little while ago, we told you how two members of our team visited a local school to deliver a talk about Publish Interactive and, more generally, about working in the technology and software development business.

Following that talk, we were contacted by the teacher who’d arranged the whole thing to ask if we’d be willing to have a student join us for a work placement. The Year 10 student is keen on a career in avionics and was interested in coming to us for two weeks to gain a greater insight into how a software development business might work.

As we love taking on interns and work experience students, and helping them gain confidence and knowledge, we jumped at the chance. So, last month, Seth joined us for two weeks.

Now, what commonly happens on work experience is that the student is given a series of tasks to complete that have been hanging around the business for some time. These are often little more than chores. This wasn’t the case for Seth because he had skills our business could put to use.

So, we thought, why not give him something to do that was of use to both him – and us?

“I knew I would be able to do something related to programming, but I didn’t know specifically what that would be,” said Seth.

“On my first day, Paul [Popat, developer] talked me through what I needed to do – that was to build case studies of how customers could use the APIs that Publish Interactive has created.

“Paul gave me examples of what to programme then I got started. I learned a lot about C# as I went and Paul taught me better ways to code, useful shortcuts. C# is similar to Java, which I know how to programme, so it wasn’t that difficult to use.

“For each case study, I would code, then submit my code to GitHub [software development platform] where it could be viewed by Paul; he could then suggest changes which I would then implement, then transfer from my GitHub to the company’s GitHub area.”

During his two weeks with Publish Interactive, Seth developed several different case studies which have since been made available for customers to use, adapt, or take as reference points when they implement APIs from iReports.

“I found my time at Publish Interactive really useful,” added Seth. “I learned new things I can take away and use in my own programming projects and I was able to contribute. Hopefully, what I have learned will make it easier for me to learn other programming languages too.”

We’re delighted that Seth found his time with us useful, because we were just as pleased with his contribution. To have a young person come in and contribute ‘real’ work that helps our business to deepen and enhance its relationship with customers is no small feat.

Thank you, Seth. It was a pleasure having you here!

Inspiring young minds: passing on our technology knowledge

Besides supplying world-leading software, one of the other things we like to do here at Publish Interactive is to get involved, on many levels, with people and organisations in our local community.

As a software business, we’re particularly keen on opportunities where we can help young people understand how they could build a career in the technology sector.

Just before Christmas it was the good fortune that I was invited into a local school to talk to two group of technology students (GCSE and Year 10 students) about both those subjects.

For the talk, I took along colleague Polly, who is a developer with Publish Interactive, as we wanted to provide students with a rounded idea of how academic studies translate into actual work. We also wanted to show how the world of technology and computing wasn’t just something for young male students to aspire towards.

Often, it’s difficult for young people to make the mental leap from classroom studies to the application of these theories in the real world. It’s tough for them to imagine that line from exam success to university or college and on through apprentices and placements to a fully-paid job.

We wanted to make this process seem as logical and straightforward as it can be. We aimed to show it is achievable and not out of reach, in the way that some might perceive it.

To that end, Polly talked about the unconventional route she took to a career in technology (Polly started with a Maths degree and slowly gravitated towards Computer Science) while I talked about our company, its ethos, and how our iReports solution fills a specific business need.

The talks must have made and impression as, earlier this year, we were contacted by the teacher who had arranged the event, as one of the students was sufficiently interested to request work experience with us.

The young man in question will be joining us for a fortnight soon after which, I have no doubt, we’ll be able to tell you more about the projects he contributed to and what he was able to get out of his time working for an upwardly-mobile technology business.

Thanks to everyone @ Leeds University’s Jobs and Internship Fair

A big thank you to the organisers of Leeds University’s Spring Graduate Jobs and Internship Fair that we attended earlier this month – it was a fruitful day for us and hopefully for all the amazing students we met!

The purpose of our visit was two-fold: to understand the types of roles graduates are keen to move into; and to find talented people who would like to work with us in fulltime, part-time, or internship positions.

With more than 2,000 people in attendance, we were overwhelmed by the volume of interest we were able to generate in Publish Interactive and our world-leading software development.

Overall, we found that students are looking for roles in:

  • Development
  • Client-facing positions
  • Marketing

With each of these disciplines, people are keen for jobs that would allow them to be creative…

Well, that suits us just fine.

In the coming weeks, we’ll review the applications that were submitted and start to contact people who were keen to join us.

So, if that’s you, just hold tight – and we’ll be in touch shortly.