Spartan of the Month July: Kit Baker

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Christopher (Kit) Baker first graduated in 2014, but after a period in employment left him feeling unfulfilled, he returned to University to build his digital skillset and find a career that would allow him to grow. After studying DevOps at our London Academy, Kit was assigned to the Home Office. 12 months on and Kit has impressed senior staff with his ability to drive work forward, his determination when faced with constraints and how he overcomes every day challenges…

 

Congratulations for being named Spartan of the Month for July! How does it feel?

It’s a great feeling to have my work recognised by my line managers at the Home Office (where I am assigned) as well as by Sparta Global. Now to try and win it two months in a row…  

You’ve been with Sparta Global for little over a year, how did you first find out about us?

I studied my undergraduate degree in Classical Studies at the University of Kent, for which I received First Class Honours. A few years later - after entering employment - I went back and did my postgraduate degree in Digital Humanities at UCL.

I received some basic tech skills during my postgrad study but getting any job in IT or the tech industry with just a year of light experience proved incredibly difficult. After coming across Sparta Global and the schemes they offer on an online jobs board, it immediately appealed to me. The extra skills, training and support on offer - as well as a clear path into employment at a prestigious partner - was impossible to turn down! It was exactly where I wanted to be and Sparta Global could fast track me there if I was willing to put in the effort.

Tell us a little bit more about your training

I started my training as part of Sparta Global’s technical stream in March 2019 – first at Sparta Global’s Richmond Academy and then moving to its new London Wall Head Office to finish my DevOps course. By June 2019, I was finished!

I found the training very good and I know it has since been updated, with more technologies added to the curriculum and classes made even smaller to improve the learning experience.

The training gave me an overview of how processes in technology work, and a good fundamental knowledge of the most important ideas in cloud computing and DevOps. I spend a lot of time using AWS, so the training regarding Amazon services really helped me hit the ground running in my job.

I also feel that having the period of unpaid training while studying really bred a hunger and desire in me to succeed when I started my client assignment. People must make a choice if they really want this and having to commit and go without pay for a short period of time made me even more grateful and enthusiastic when I did go on site.

Where are you currently working?

I am a junior DevOps engineer in the Infrastructure team at the Home Office.

I work on improving or provisioning resource - primarily in Kubernetes or AWS - for the DSA (Data Services and Analytics) department. I do small support tickets where I can to help a number of teams within the DSA who consume cloud resources, but for the most part I have worked on two large projects in my first year.

 

How have you found your first tech role?

I have enjoyed it massively! I have been given a lot of autonomy and freedom in my role. I had the opportunity to take the lead on a department-wide migration of Jira, Confluence and RocketChat from on premise into AWS. The switchover has received praise from numerous people, and it has been vital in allowing the DSA to work from home without disruption. I have also had the chance to work on AWS SageMaker which is AWS’ machine learning package, as well as create a solution to allow Data Scientists to self-provision AWS Neptune databases using AWS Service Catalog, which is currently in use in our Dev environment.

Are you enjoying working in the tech industry and if so – why?

It was an industry that I really wanted to be involved in. My previous job felt very mundane and repetitive, so I wanted to get on a career path where there were endless opportunities to learn and grow. The rate at which new technologies are released and evolve allows me to constantly learn and to improve myself while being able to also add value to the client I work for.

Would you recommend Sparta Global to other graduates?

If this is an area you want to get into and are passionate about, but maybe didn’t choose a path relative to these types of roles, Sparta Global offers an unparalleled entry into the tech industry. For all my efforts in the job, I simply could not have done it without them.