October Spartans of the month12/11/2021
October proved to be a busy and hugely successful month for our Spartan community – with not one, but THREE Spartans being recognised for their hard work, impact on client site and impressive project work. Read on to hear more about their backgrounds pre-tech, training and experiences working on-site with our clients! A huge congratulations to:
Matthew Savage – Business Analyst
Tyler Smart – Java SDET
Mehmet Bekiroglu – Java SDET
Congratulations on being named our Spartans of the month!
It feels great to be recognised. Work has been demanding since the pandemic started and I have put a lot of effort in, especially these last few months, so it’s really nice to be recognised by my colleagues for this.
I’m really happy I was selected; it’s nice knowing the hard work I’ve been putting in is actively being noticed – I’ll keep it up!
It was a surprise for me, but it felt really great to be noticed by my colleagues and by Sparta for my hard work. I haven’t necessarily done anything extraordinary - just giving as much effort as possible - and it is nice for that to be recognised for sure.
You’re all at different stages of your technology and Sparta journey, but it’s really interesting to see the differences in your background. Can you tell us a little bit about what you were up to before joining Sparta Global?
I studied Business at the University of the West of England (UWE) before joining Sparta Global more than three years ago now! I found out about Sparta Global through an online jobs site. I applied and was offered a place at an Assessment Day. I had completed previous Assessment days but at this one, I felt a lot more at ease and managed to show off my abilities during the tasks we were given. After having my interview, I felt that Sparta was the right path for me.
I joined their BA course and trained in Richmond - a smaller Academy that has now been closed to open the much bigger Academy at London Wall.
I studied at the University of Hertfordshire, for my first year I studied Computer Science and then finished my degree in Information Technology.
I found out about Sparta Global on my University’s Career hub. I was looking for a job that would train me up in coding as I felt that I didn’t receive adequate teaching during my university studies.
I was looking for a while until I found out about Sparta, as most jobs I found were underpaid or apprenticeships. I was in need of a graduate scheme with a learning environment that felt like a classroom as opposed to a lecture – the Sparta graduate scheme ticked all my boxes!
I joined the Java SDET stream in 2019 and trained at 125 London Wall.
My educational background was a little different! I studied Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London - graduating in 2019.
I found out about Sparta Global on a jobs website, while searching for jobs after university. I had always been interested in working in technology and had always enjoyed doing computing lessons at A-level and learning to code in my free time; but not having a technology-based degree made it difficult to apply for technology jobs. Sparta Global was the ideal path for me as they gave me the opportunity to learn the required skills as well as helping to place me with clients.
I began my Java SDET training in November 2019 and completed it in February 2020. Despite the pandemic, I was assigned to my first client project in August 2020 and have experienced working with two clients since then.
How did you find your training at the Academy, and how did your training prepare you for work?
I’ll be honest – I did find the training challenging at times as I was learning a lot of new things within a short time period. At one stage, I doubted I would complete the course but expressing these doubts to my tutor led to a discussion with the HR Director who encouraged me to carry on, for which I am VERY grateful. Being in the Academy pushed me to improve the way I make presentations and conduct myself in interviews. This was helpful not only in my first role - giving me confidence in the interview process - but also when presenting to key stakeholders on a monthly basis!
I found that the training prepared me well for my previous and current position. Everything I learned on a per-week basis in the training clicked into place and formed a great foundation for me to build my skills atop of. I think the most important thing that I gained, however, was knowing that I could learn anything I needed to as long I put the work in.
I agree! I found the training really useful, but also really enjoyable. Not only did the training help me to learn the required skills to use when placed with a client, including completing the ISTQB Foundation Level qualification, but it was my first experience coming out of university and being in a ‘job-like’ setting. That was just as valuable an experience as I went forward with clients.
...And now you are working with clients and on live digital projects! Can you tell us what you are working on?
In October, I transitioned into a Business Analyst role at one of the top four consultancies. Previously, I was a PMO analyst at the same company.
I am part of a team managing the payments processing of the business’ clients. I oversee the raising of tickets, managing the backlog and look through user complaints to see if there are any areas of our service we need to improve. I am also thinking ahead for future pieces of work the team will be developing, making sure that the developers have all the information they need on the Tickets.
In my previous role as a PMO analyst, I was focused on producing financial analysis for the Engagement Managers and Business Operations Managers including creating new forecasts, explaining variances from previous forecasts highlighting Risks/ Ops and presenting to key stakeholders.
I’m currently a Software Tester in the financial services sector. I work on two teams, one being with the testers and the other on a separate agile project. I generate Test Cases, Regression packs and document/track it all on Jira. Whenever there is a new release, I ensure that each alteration or new implementation of the product is working as expected. I also make sure nothing has broken as a result of these changes through Regression Testing. Any bugs that I find I document, raise and track.
I am at the same company as Mehmet and in a Test Analyst role. My time is also split between helping to test the day-to-day services the bank offers and working in an agile based scrum team to develop new products and services to offer customers in the future. Practicing working in an agile environment as part of the training was definitely beneficial to my work now so that I can be as effective as possible!
Are you enjoying working in tech?
Definitely - this industry has a lot to offer and the roles you can do vary. I started off as a PMO which was focused on the financial aspect and now I am a BA, focused on the development aspect. My career could go several ways and that is exciting.
You’re always at the forefront of technological advancements in this industry. It’s also nice being able to say ‘I did that’ when a product is launched online without issues!
My first tech roles with Sparta Global have been really rewarding. It is great to be working in a field that I enjoy and that encourages me to produce the highest quality work I can. The pandemic has meant that working from home has become more normal and that was an initial challenge being a new starter and having to learn new systems remotely, but over time I have begun to relish the added freedom it offers.
One more question! Given your experience now of Sparta and working with our clients, would you recommend our programmes to other emerging talent?
I would recommend Sparta Global! For me, after I graduated university, I knew I was interested in the Tech industry, but I wasn’t sure how I could fit in. Sparta has shown me the best ways to apply my skills to this industry.
I do! If anyone wants to jump-start their career and work with reputable brands whilst being at the forefront of technology, then the Sparta Global programmes facilitate that.
Definitely! Especially graduates who are in a similar position to the one I was and didn’t study a technology related degree at university. The skills I learned at Sparta both set me up for not only my role with clients, but also more widely for my career in the future and I would recommend it to all.