This week has involved quite a lot of reflection, mainly focused on the journey which I started way back in 2016 which has led me to today, and my graduation from Apprentice to fully fledged Engineer!
It has been a long time (involving a degree, three separate "first days" at work, and several houses, cities, and countries) since I first walked through the doors of endjin's London Bridge office. A lot has changed in that time, in my life, the company and in the world as a whole (though I won't go into that here). But something which has been almost constant throughout the past four years is the interesting and unique challenges that my work at endjin has provided.
At endjin we solve complex problems which cover a huge range of cloud services, data science techniques and industries. The work we do is massively varied and in this there is a huge opportunity.
A huge part of the amount that I have learnt is due to endjin's investment in the people that work here. The apprenticeship program is entirely learning focused. Over the past few years, I have had dedicated time each week which I spend training. At the start of the apprenticeship almost half of my week was spent on this training, starting with reading the whole of Ian's brilliant (but not exactly light) book on C#. The time spent actively training has reduced as time's gone by, as I progressed to the point that most of the learning was done as part of the projects I was involved in. However, the focus on learning and development has never changed.
I have also had the incredible opportunity to attend multiple conferences. This culminating in me actually speaking at NDC this January! As someone to whom public speaking has never come naturally, this felt like a huge milestone and I think is indicative of the way in which the company culture encourages personal development and growth (terrifying as it may be at the time…).
Career development is at the heart of what endjin do. Our strategy is entirely centred around the people that work here. The focus on "empowering small teams to do big things" is entirely applicable within our own organisation. We have well-defined and openly shared career development pathways. In terms of the apprenticeship program this means that you are guided through your development and emerge out the end with a well-rounded understanding of the business – both in terms of the technical problems we solve, but also with experience of consulting, commercials and business development. This structured development also continues at all levels of the company, meaning that throughout your career there is a focus on constant development and learning, which I think is important for everyone but is especially so in a fast-moving sector such as technology.
Enabling people to succeed is also not limited to allowing them to grow professionally. And there is an understanding of this ingrained in the way the company operates. Endjin have now been a fully remote company for over two and a half years. This freedom has allowed the people that work here to maintain a healthy work-life balance. We are able to structure our days around family and personal commitments, and design and work from a city and office space (be that home or co-working) which works for us.
Not only this, but the company culture is one which is incredibly supportive and understanding of the needs of its employees. I recently wrote a blog about the challenges of remote working and mental health. This is an important issue and (especially in the current climate) it is vitally important to feel like you can be open when you are struggling. Cultivating a company culture where your employees feel accepted and supported when they need it is incredibly important. And, this is exactly where endjin excel.
Who knows where I'll be in another four years (or at the moment, in another four months…) but one thing I am certain of is that wherever I end up, I will be forever thankful for the huge amount of time, effort and support endjin have provided throughout the start of my working life.
Endjin's placement of people at the centre and belief that empowering your team to succeed on a personal level is crucial to the success of the business as a whole is why I am eternally grateful that I started my career here. And perhaps, it's also why you should too…
If you're interested in a applying for the apprenticeship program, just send a cv through to firstname.lastname@example.org!