Hanzalah joined us for a student placement from June 2021 to August 2022.
What have you enjoyed most about the placement?
I’ve mostly enjoyed the approach given to work at Flooid and the ability to work on a range of real-world tasks across the different tech stacks we use (Java/Spring backend and an Ionic/Angular frontend). This has really broadened my horizons and has taught me how to logically approach a problem where the solution may be across several projects. It’s also easy to get support when needed as we have a lot of experts in the different areas who are very helpful with addressing problems that I’ve ran into.
What have been your highlights?
I have managed to help solve problems and have committed my code to the Flooid repositories.
As a team we have managed to merge some stories into the main branch and, we managed to fix some bugs and merge with the customer branch in good time.
What’s the best activity/project you have worked on during your placement?
I have been working on integrating the payment service for a payment wallet provider into the Flooid Product.
I’ve also been working on a Placement Project where I’ve been designing, architecting, and developing an internal tool which will be used to parse data into the file used by our data flow manager software. This has been particularly enjoyable as being a brand-new project from the ground-up, I’ve been given a lot more freedom in selecting the technologies used. This has allowed me to create this project using more modern languages and frameworks such as Kotlin and its Multiplatform framework. We’re able to use this project to also evaluate these frameworks and determine their usability in our mainline products.
On the product side, I’ve been working on delivering a feature to our Hand-Held-Terminals product. I’ve particularly enjoyed working on this project as I had become familiar with the codebase and typescript so was able to work on the project with greater independence and have a strong influence in planning and task creation. Being more proficient with the stack I was able to learn some tricks to write code a lot more concisely and efficiently.
What new skills have you learned?
I have had to do a lot of pair programming to get up to speed with the Flooid codebase. This has led to me learning how to effectively pair program.
What have you found challenging?
The codebase is huge. This means that there is a lot to learn when you start although the team have been great at guiding me through and explaining the different components during pair programming sessions.
Now tell us about your experience applying for the placement
I applied online from my University Careers website and a couple of weeks later, I received a phone call from a lead developer at Flooid to schedule a phone interview as the first step.
In the telephone interview, we discussed common technologies used at Flooid along with some programming theory. I was then called by the the HR team who invited me to the next stage of the process.
The assessment day was completed online (due to Covid) using Microsoft Teams. We completed team exercises, presentations and programming and logical reasoning tests. We also had some pair-programming interviews along with a formal interview.
What was it like to prepare for the presentation on the day and to pitch your presentation to the team?
I was given three options for the presentation and had a couple of weeks to prepare. I was able to read up on all three topics and decide which one I wanted to present and then got to work preparing the presentation. I was then asked to present to two interviewers and answer any questions at the end.
Overall, I found the presentation experience a lot less ‘scary’ than I anticipated!
Were you nervous about before starting your placement role with Flooid?
Not really, I was provided with a lot of information from the company, so I was well prepared for the placement. We were sent activities to get us up to speed with some of the technologies commonly used at Flooid.
How did you find your induction to Flooid?
The induction week gave me an insight of the company and building. We were given our kit and guided through all the installation processes to get everything up and running. We were also introduced to the Flooid stack and systems.
How did you settle into the team?
I settled in well with the team considering that we have been working mostly remotely. I have had a lot of pair-programming sessions so that I can familiarise myself with the codebase and ask any questions I might have. The team are great at explaining things.
I get along well with my mentor, and he has been helpful with getting me setup and putting me on the right track to help solve issues.
What advice would you give to others thinking of applying to the student placement at Flooid?
Try to get familiar with Java and programming concepts (dependency management and injection etc) and learn about different technologies used in programming such as Docker, Databases (relational, SQL, NoSQL, document databases).
Familiarise yourself with the retail space, learn about what Flooid does and how the changing landscape of retail affects point of sale (Amazon’s cashier less stores are a good example of this).
What’s next for you?
After my placement I am returning to University where I’ll be completing my Cyber Security Degree.