The GlobalLogic Academy Programme – a personal, introspective recollection

Categories: CultureDevOpsRecruitment & HiringTechnology

Ben Graham – Academy 2022 Graduate/Delivery Consultant

I am currently in the DevOps capability for consulting and a recent graduate of the Academy 2022 programme which ran from September to December.

I’d like to detail my thoughts on the process and share how my fellow graduates and I felt going on this journey.

The GlobalLogic Academy almost seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity and almost too good to be true. It makes you think “What’s the catch here?” – but one quickly learns it is as good as it sounds!

 

The beginning – pre-month one

Before I started the Academy I was working in a development role that, after a few years, ended up pigeonholing me into a niche area. I was not allowed any flexibility and was forced to master one craft with no progression.

I began looking for something a little more interesting and flexible, but with my restricted skillset it was difficult. I was focused on a very niche tech stack that wasn’t really used elsewhere!

Cue GlobalLogic and the Academy Programme; seeing the job advert felt like a dream come true. It detailed the three-month process and how even if you lack in the right skills to be a consultant, they will mould you into one – this was perfect for my situation.

“They train me in these relevant skills, offer clear direction and pay me excellently!?”, I thought to myself as I hastily clicked ‘apply’.

After a smooth interview process and some lovely interviewers, I was offered the role and of course, I jumped at this opportunity!

 

Learning – month one

The beginning was probably the toughest time for us all – imposter syndrome was spreading like wildfire! But this quickly subsided as we got familiar with each other, the training methods, and the tutors.

Every couple of days over a month-long period we were introduced to a new technology to learn, effectively blasting us with seeds of information with the hope they’d grow into something more functional later on. I must admit, it is tough to take on board the amount of information that is directed at you in such a short period of time, but this is where the projects come in which I’ll talk about shortly.

As the month went on we would continue to delve into learning new technologies every week: Bash, JavaScript, Testing, Agile/SCRUM, Presenting. The Academy was built to teach you new technologies no matter your skill set, level or ability, and it was effective.

At the end of month one came our very first project – an exciting time for all of us after learning for three weeks. We also got the chance to travel down to the London Office from Manchester which was fantastic!

We rocked up to the London office rather confident. With three weeks of knowledge behind us, we were informed that we were going to be making an application in our own solo project. The application was a simple blogging website, but it introduced us to statements of work, client behaviour, and the general process of working as a consultant – all whilst solidifying what we had learned in the Academy.

With many messages sent and a few hundred or more Google searches later, we had all completed our application. The next step was to present to a client, simulated by fellow GlobalLogic employees.

The practice presentations were a brilliant way to get a feel of one’s consulting and presenting skills, combined with purposefully asked questions to simulate some of the things a client may ask and to demonstrate the varied understanding between clients in the room.

The practice projects perfectly tied up the months of learning, covering technical, presenting, and verbal skills. (Getting to see the other offices was also a big plus!)

The first project went well for everyone involved, we absorbed a huge amount of knowledge for just one month – we all took the train home rather satisfied with ourselves.

 

Progression – month two

The second month followed a very similar structure to the first: three weeks of learning, then a practice project to demonstrate our ability. This time we got even more technical, covering a wide range of the DevOps toolset. We covered Terraform, AWS, Docker, Jenkins and more – all quite intimidating technology when you’re starting out.

The brilliant thing is, the technology and practices we had been exposed to in the first month helped massively with this: version control, scripting, best practices etc. The well-formulated plan that was hatched for the Academy structure was coming to fruition here.

Month two also exposed us to a lovely array of tutors who were volunteering at the Academy; their passion for teaching and our growth really shined through. They would even come back to offer advice to us during the projects (not to mention the expensed meal every now and then…).

As the month came to its final week, we began our second project – this time, we were paired up with fellow Academy employees. This project required us to use our old application from month one, then deploy and host it on AWS using all the tools we had learnt in the previous weeks.

It also exposed us to working in random pairs where no one knew who they were going to be with, this is sometimes the case when you’re put on a new client project. Every aspect of the Academy is catered towards preparing you for your role in a way that is both engaging and enjoyable.

To host our application, we put into use the many tools we had learned, and then again delivered a presentation to our simulated clients, but this time as pairs. It was already evident how much we had all improved; we garnered excellent feedback from the ‘clients’ about our presenting and technical skills.

The GlobalLogic Academy is testament to just how much a person can grow when they are provided with the right environment.

 

Put to the test – month three

Month three was vastly different compared to the previous couple. This time we were put straight into a client engagement at the start (again simulated), with a new statement of work for a fully hosted application over a four-week period.

We were separated into two teams of six – Development and DevOps – to work through the month-long process as teams, with sprints and weekly client meetings. This was as real as it gets for us; the teams were large and the task was difficult.

At the beginning our two teams were not communicating properly, the DevOps team ended up with their own app to test infrastructure with, rather than using the Development team’s app.

Naturally, when we came to the client with this, they were very confused as to how we’d been working together and caused a bit of an uproar from their side!

On the bright side, this was exactly what we needed – an educational wakeup call on how we should be functioning as two separate teams. From here on out we set up regular meetings with each team and worked together to build and host this app.

After the aforementioned mishap, the remaining three weeks went off without a hitch. It was no doubt a tough challenge filled with obstacles, but we overcame them together as two teams.

The development team built a fully functional, easy to use retrospective application, which was then hosted on secure Cloud infrastructure by the DevOps team (which I was part of). We then presented this to an audience of eight to ten people. Sadly, half our team were off with Covid, so we had the additional challenge of delivering a presentation as a group of six when there were originally twelve.

Nevertheless, despite all the hurdles, challenges and mishaps, the feedback we got was fantastic. The clients were impressed with the results of our newfound teamwork and ability to deliver a clean and concise presentation.

All in all, the GlobalLogic Academy was an incredible journey of education, challenges and experiences. It transformed previously unskilled career switchers into able and effective Delivery Consultants.

 

After the Academy

After the Academy ended, a lot of us took some well needed time off and prepared ourselves for the ‘real deal’.

During this time, we were given flexibility to learn, study and practice relevant skills we believed we needed to touch up on. Personally, I spent time studying and using all kinds of DevOps tools as I gained a certification.

Some people view waiting for to be placed on a client engagement as boring, or unproductive, but it is an exceptionally useful period to learn and reflect on what you need to become a better consultant. The ride doesn’t just stop when the Academy ends, we are in constant discussions on learning pathways, goals and needs, especially during these waiting periods.

While the waiting period is a contrast to the project heavy Academy, I do not mind it at all. There are always people ready to help, resources to learn from and skills to practice.

I think I’ll finish up by saying that if you get the opportunity to join a future Academy, or GlobalLogic in another capacity, take it!

Thank you for taking your time to read this introspective view on my time at GlobalLogic.

 

Get yourself on the next GlobalLogic Academy

Inspired by Ben’s story?

Fancy a three-month accelerated learning experience to hone in on your DevOps skillset?

Considering a career switch and want a supported environment to learn in?

Then please send your CV to careers@uk.globallogic.com.

Author

Author

Ben Graham

Delivery Consultant

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