My experience thus far on the Developer Factory program:
The gap between school, college, university and a working environment is much wider than one would want it to be. The world of IT is very competitive and makes it difficult for the person who graduated from university, to get him/herself that perfect job. The learning institutions always mould your mind into thinking that, the moment you walk out with your tertiary qualification, you walk into that “million dollar” job. That is where many people make the biggest mistake. People in top IT jobs today had to start somewhere, though...

That is where the developer factory comes in and helps you get that foot in the door. It provides you with the experience you need to start with the basic jobs in the world of programming and software. The developer factory also gives you the necessary work environment skills that can only be learned in a “live” working environment. Almost 100% of employers and companies are looking for a person with some kind of work experience.

I have learned so much in just three weeks…about how a software development company works and I am only on the six-month developer factory internship. I can possibly rise from knowing nothing about the Magic XPA software that we use, to a professional Magic XPA developer. I would have gained a huge amount of experience in a working environment, from how to work with setting a deadline, to making that deadline with the correct work content.

I also learn about how to conduct myself in meetings and how to use e-mails to communicate with the people around me, to setup meetings, messages and events. This information I can use not only at work, but in my everyday life, to make things easier for myself and others. I have also learned how to setup a workgroup and how to join a network.

Sometimes it feels a bit like we were thrown in the deep end, especially on the first day when we were just told that we start at 8, go home at 5pm and we had to find out the rest by ourselves. A better introduction would have made me feel more part of my new work environment.

We also spent most of our time working on the actual computer, using a Magic XPA self-training guide, giving us the training we need to work on bigger, “live” projects in the near future. We did that for about two weeks and then we wrote atest to see how much we had learned in that time. In the third week we were asked to start with a new project where we had to create an ERD of a program, and then create a database for the program. The next step for us will be to design the interface and code the program.

The developer factory is the start of a bright future for the IT sector in South Africa and the world.

In the past three months I gained more experience in my line of work, than ever before. This did my self-confidence the world of good and it made me a better person in my personal life as well.
The people here are really great and make it feel like we are one big happy family.

The Developer Factory grew from four to nine people. Five in Johannesburgand four in Cape Town. We are all working together on a ticket management system. Thus far we only doing the planning and have daily meetings at 10:00. In the meetings we have to communicate with the team in Johannesburg. It’s not always that easy, but it gave me loads of experience in this type of environment.

The Developer Factory is really a great initiative and it will surely give me an edge to the world out there.

A farewell from Achmad, who left the Developer Factory on 20th July 2012.

“Thank you for the way you always cared about more than just the professional side of my life and for the way you always made sure if I'm ‘ok’ with the type of food and drinks you had to offer at work social events.”
“The experience I learned from you will be my stepping stone in my professional and personal life.”

How was your time at the Developer Factory?
“I have gained experience in the real working environment.”
“I learned about Magic XPA and SQL” “I learned a lot about the effort that goes behind a successful project.”
“I saw that planning is everything – even in life.”

What is your opinion of Magic XPA?
“Magic is great language to code in and it is very easy to learn, if you put your mind to it.” “Magic allows you to code a new program with minimal background in software development.”

What were your highlights?
- The way the working environment works like a family
- The way people offer to help one another
- The amount of effort that got put into making me gain as much experience as possible