At the time, I found the cloud training to be quite challenging and at times struggled to grasp some of the technical concepts. My main focus was on learning and understanding these new concepts and as a result I did not see the true value of these ideas during the training. However, implementing some of these concepts within our client has really helped me to understand them in more depth. It has been incredibly rewarding to see how beneficial the skills we picked up in training can be.
I went to university blind as to what I wanted from life. I knew I was good at maths; I knew I wanted something that was practical, something that would get me a job straight out of university; so, I chose to study Accounting and Finance. After my placement year, I realised that although the company itself was great, a career in finance was going to be a job - something to endure to support myself, and not an exciting career. I started to think about the times that I was really excited/proud of my work, and after some introspection and the really good support of my friends and family I put together a list. It contained things like my Duke of Edinburgh volunteering, a project I worked on to make data more visible in my placement year, and a tic-tac-toe game I made using Python.
With the immediacy of the desperate run to the door before the postman leaves with your parcel, I realised that a lot of things on that list involved programming and working with data. Discovering that a career path in tech could be fun, interesting, and challenging meant the idea of working as a developer excited me like a cat upon seeing a bird. Kubrick is amazing because it allows me to transition into being a developer and the path it entails.
Despite this success, the deep insecurity that I would not be good or smart enough to make the steep transition remained - after all, I only had limited programming knowledge, I was trained as an accountant! Surely, they must have made a mistake?! Imposter syndrome stalked me all throughout my training; constantly feeling like I was out of place compared to the other talented people in my cohort, or that someone would catch me out as a fraud and feeling that I just got into the scheme by blind luck. However, the systems Kubrick has in place for consultants enabled me to combat this feeling by building confidence in my own ability.
I was really nervous to start my client placement, but Kubrick really went above and beyond to help me feel comfortable going on to client-site. Closer to the end of the training, the insipid tension of my self-doubt once again crept into my mind. I had never really done any technical development work before, so I was worried if I had the knowledge and skillset to actually help with anything when training was over. My account manager (who had secured my client placement) was really understanding and happily put the time in to make me feel comfortable and set up meetings with other Kubrick consultants to ease my worries so I could have more of an idea of what I would be working on with my client.
Once I had a better understanding of the work I would be expected to undertake on site, I talked to my trainers and together we tailored the remainder of my training to suit my client's specific tool stack. I felt more confident, especially in my ability to cater to the client’s needs. The trainers were amazing, they gave us extra sessions to go through our questions, and even tailored part of our final project to emulate some of the work we would be doing with our client. This involved getting familiar with key principles of dimensional modelling to build a cloud data warehouse for a business and learning to use Azure Data Factory for data transformations.
I am currently on client site, and I am happy to say that it is going really well! I feel confident in my ability to deliver what the client wants, have made some really good friends, and enjoy the work that I am doing.
There are four reasons why I think that we have been so successful in embedding ourselves into our client's culture and team very quickly:
Firstly, Kubrick is really good at establishing deep meaningful relationships with their clients. When I started at my client, I was warmly welcomed by a huge Kubrick community (50+) within the company which consisted of both consultants and alumni who have gone permanent within my client. It was particularly nice how Kubrick consultants reached out to welcome us - booking in coffees to get to know us, and offering their time to help us understand the company. It is reassuring to have access to a huge network of people in different parts of the company through Kubrick. Whenever I talk to stakeholders, they immediately tell me how highly they value Kubrick consultants and have nothing but glowing reviews. I have heard many consultants referred to as “superstars” by multiple client-side employees. Also, with so many consultants having gone permanent within my client, it was clear that they really valued the skill set Kubrick brought and often use it as an alternative tech graduate scheme.
Secondly, the training we received was exceptionally useful in preparing us for client work. For example, the focus on agile working and dev-ops principles, such as a blameless culture of transparent communication, and cross-team collaboration, was excellent and has proved to be invaluable on site. At the time, I found the cloud training to be quite challenging and at times struggled to grasp some of the technical concepts. My main focus was on learning and understanding these new concepts and as a result I did not see the true value of these ideas during the training. However, implementing some of these concepts within our client has really helped me to understand them in more depth. It has been incredibly rewarding to see how beneficial the skills we picked up in training can be.
Thirdly, being part of a blended squad has helped immensely in getting acclimated. Blended squads are multiple Kubrick consultants led by a Kubrick Advanced lead for a specific project. I went into my client project with two other consultants from my cohort. As we knew we were going together to the client, we coordinated working as a squad on our final project. This was effective because it gave us a chance to get comfortable working together. Each of us brought different strengths and weaknesses but we were able to utilise each person's strengths to help each other overcome our weaknesses. This collective knowledge share allowed us to get to grips with our work much faster. My Kubrick Advanced lead was at the client for a month before we went, so she was able to help us with our transition making sure that we had a very comfortable onboarding. She had completed the Kubrick process and chose to stay on at Kubrick lead/manage teams of consultants in delivering value for the client. It is invaluable to have guidance from someone who is an experienced consultant. She has been incredible and continues to give us excellent support to challenge us and help us grow/develop as people/consultants.
Finally, as my client is used to having Kubrick consultants, they have a well-established training period to get us up to speed and become acquainted with their working patterns and tech stacks. We used pair programming with senior engineers to help us work on specific stories during our sprint. This supports us in taking ownership of the design of the dimensional data warehouse we were rebuilding for our cloud migration (the main objective of our client project). We were able to utilise agile and scrum principles to work on the client-side delivering small frequent value with an aim towards constant improvement. Especially at the start of a career, I feel that embracing failure is the best tool for you to grow and develop. This leads to an environment where failing fast is encouraged with shift-left testing and a blameless culture. All this culminated into creating a fun and engaging work environment that is fertile ground for new ideas to be welcomed and taken seriously. Feeling ownership of the work you are handling allows you to really engage deeply in the work you are doing and is amazing for building your personal confidence.
Looking back now on my training after six months, it is clear that the 15 weeks of training was just the start of my journey and becoming a (really good) developer would take a lot of time. The 15 weeks give you a really good starting point, but it is up to each individual how they choose to develop on that training. I would say that practical learning as a consultant on client site is really where you can refine your skillset as a developer. The guidance Kubrick provided as well as the excellent onboarding process of my client grew my confidence as a developer and allowed me to work through any insecurities that were previously holding me back.
I can definitely say that Kubrick gave me the confidence and the base knowledge to kick-start my career as a developer and would strongly recommend the training to anyone.