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A day in the life of a SimpleClick apprentice

By Jules Mackley 3rd October 2019

At SimpleClick, our philosophy is to invest in home-grown talent and earlier this year, we were very proud to launch a new apprenticeship scheme in partnership with Anglian Ruskin University.

Our two new apprentices, George Lee and Harry Palmer, will be working to obtain degrees in Digital and Technology Solutions in tandem with valuable industry experience. 

We caught up with our newest team members to discover what a SimpleClick apprenticeship means to them.

Why do you want to be a developer and why did you choose this industry?

George: Initially I wanted to become a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force. Part of the assessment is an eight-hour aptitude test which is incredibly difficult so to help me practice I developed a computer-based test myself. I built the application for iOS originally, and then later developed a version for Android. This experience, and the feedback I received about the app, sparked my passion for developing so once I heard SimpleClick were recruiting I knew I had to apply. 

Harry: My interest in developing started when I was modifying games. I then went on to learn IT at college, and during my spare time developed static websites for clients. I really enjoyed freelancing as it gave me the experience to learn whilst working in the industry and expand my client-facing skills. 

How did you hear about the apprenticeship scheme and what does it mean to you?

George: I joined SimpleClick as a junior developer in April 2019 and was asked if I wanted to take on the apprenticeship. It’s a great opportunity for me as I will gain a degree whilst working in an industry I’m passionate about. 

At SimpleClick there is a real family-vibe; everyone is happy to support each other, which for an apprentice is very important. There is a great diverse range of work too, which really helps to expand my existing skill set.

Harry: I applied for the role as soon as I saw that SimpleClick were looking for apprentices, as it has a fantastic reputation for building unique applications that drive real results. This apprenticeship gives me the opportunity to learn practically in the industry at the same time as studying for a degree. There are so many benefits to it; Matt, our mentor, gives us invaluable support and I believe that this scheme will open many doors for George and I.

What does your typical day at SimpleClick look like?

George: Every Monday the whole team comes together for a meeting to discuss opportunities, challenges, our plans for the week and a review of last week’s successes. Then once every two weeks we have a webinar with our university tutor which we do while we’re in the office. . Other tasks include SEO reporting and adding filter functionality to clients’ websites and applications, which gives me a great insight into our clients’ needs and ambitions. 

Harry: As well as the weekly team meetings and fortnightly webinar with our tutor, we’re spending one day a week dedicated to our studies and one week every three months at university. These weeks are quite full-on as we’re cramming three months of work into one week, but with the support of SimpleClick it’s never daunting. It’s great to have a team behind you that wants you to succeed, and will always give you a helping hand if you need something explained that you forgot to ask your tutor.

I’m also spending time learning Java Script. I have always been comfortable using HTML and CSS, so it’s great to have the capacity to learn a new language from the experts.

What does your typical day at university look like?

George: We have only just started our degree course, so at the moment we’re learning the basics of programming. Raz, our tutor, is really good and we are learning a lot. It’s going to be a very insightful and exciting four years.

What are you enjoying about the apprenticeship so far?

Harry: We both really enjoy learning so being able to do this in a professional and friendly environment is great.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

George: That there’s no such thing as a silly question. For junior staff it can sometimes be daunting to ask questions because you don’t want to look silly, but at SimpleClick they encourage us to ask questions. 

Harry: Similar to what George has said – don’t be afraid to ask questions but also to learn from your mistakes and from each other. 

Would you recommend taking up an apprenticeship to other students?

George: Definitely, I think apprenticeship schemes are really beneficial. Being able to work at a professional standard is a great confidence boost, and I’m very proud to be part of the SimpleClick family. 

Harry: Yes, being an apprentice at SimpleClick allows me to work and grow within a very fast-paced industry. At university you learn lots of theory but sometimes there’s not much practical work, but when you’re studying and working simultaneously you really get to put that theory into practice.

If you'd like to find out more about the degree apprenticeship scheme then speak with our partners at Anglia Ruskin University.