Life As A New Member Of The DabApps Team

Jamie Matthews

A month in the life of DabApps newbies.

Charlie Tomsett and Jake Howard are the most recent additions to the DabApps team.

Charlie is a recent Computer Science graduate from the University of Brighton where he achieved an outstanding First Class BSc (Hons). Jake is undertaking the 3aaa Technology Apprenticeship programme with us for 12 months (and we hope his DabApps career will go way beyond this!). We thought it would be good to get some feedback from our newbies after their first month and here it is. Thankfully, they've been kind...

What have you learned since joining DabApps?

Charlie: I've been learning Python, Django and React, as well as test driven development which is really great. I've also discovered the benefits of instant messaging in a busy office. It keeps noise and interruptions at a sensible level so we can all focus on what we are doing.

Jake: I've learnt so much, it's hard to put it into words! Before coming here I knew nothing on how to write Django applications, ReactJS data models, or Github pull requests, now I can confidently do all 3! I learnt about how the office runs, and just how much banter there is in a workplace environment... mostly cat or tea related!

What have you enjoyed most since you've been here?

Charlie: Getting to know everyone as they have all been very nice (so far!) and the opportunity to learn new and interesting skills. Also, the cat gifs.

Jake: The sheer amount of stuff I've learned in the last few weeks is incredible. I never thought I could learn this much in such a short amount of time. On top of that, after work visits to the pub have been great!

What made your brain hurt in week one?

Charlie: Trying to learn how to use the React testing framework - a big challenge in the first couple of weeks!

Jake: Working with the first production project. I was making the front end templates for the site, which meant I had to write a lot of CSS. My CSS skills aren't great at the best of times so my brain ached a lot! Besides the CSS, using the MacBook provided by DabApps made my head hurt to begin with (until now I've worked only on a PC) but with Ubuntu Linux installed I have the working environment I'm used to. 

What are you looking forward to most over the next few weeks (hopefully not just the weekends)?

Charlie: Completing my first project as I will get to test my new skills and see the results of my labours. It's great to be working with Jake and other members of the development team to build an application for a real client!

Jake: I'm looking forward to getting our first project up and running and learning more about how it is going to run, especially on how we are going to handle the search engine functionality, something I've never tinkered with before. Also looking forward to a few more pub trips.

Who makes the best tea/coffee? Who never makes tea/coffee? Do you even drink tea or coffee?

Charlie: Me, of course. Just never forget to make Tony tea - he needs a constant supply or he can't code.

Jake: I'm one of those people that doesn't drink either tea or coffee. Most of the people I know don't understand how I'm alive without a morning shot of caffeine. Fortunately in the office I'm not alone, as Chris doesn't either, so I'm not a complete outcast (although he replaces tea and coffee with gallons of Diet Coke).

Favourite new cafe/pub nearby?

Charlie: There are far too many to name! I'm working my way through a long list and thoroughly enjoying it!

Jake: Not being from Brighton I have no preference, which just means that we're going to have to do a lot more research before I can make an informed decision, a process I am more than looking forward to!

Any other thoughts/observations about DabApps life?

Charlie: Cats are the only acceptable pet and nobody gets through Diet Coke like Chris, the MD.

Jake: A really pleasant surprise about DabApps life is how flat the hierarchy is. We're all in one office, at the same sized desks, with almost the exact same equipment, and the environment itself is so relaxed with plenty of banter.