Josh Thody, a student at the University of East Anglia, wanted to gain experience working in industry as a software developer. As such, he used a personal contact to find a placement at Aviva, in their Digital Gateway team. Josh undertook his placement in the summer of his second year and found this timing to work very well.
Josh was responsible for building a proof of concept configuration management and deployment system using Amazon Web Services. The developed system had to be designed to work with existing infrastructure and serve as a replacement for Aviva’s static property files used to control various behaviour within each lower environment. Josh gained experience in a number of different technologies including, but not limited to, Java Spring, AWS, DynamoDB and GIT. “What I found most useful, and also the most challenging, throughout my placement was being exposed to different technologies that are commonly used in industry. Almost every day I was working with a technology that I either did not know existed or had no experience with before I started my PIPS placement. I feel that the placement has vastly improved my skill set in terms of industry software development.”, reflects Josh.
The placement also provided Josh with many transferable skills. Working in part of a large team at Aviva allowed him to improve both communication and team working skills, whilst having to meet biweekly deadlines helped improve his organisation skillss. Josh felt he returned to his PhD with increased confidence to conduct his PhD research and was better able to manage his time.
Josh’s supervisor at Aviva, Chris Collis, was very positive about the experience and found Josh to be a really good fit for the team, making a positive impact in many aspects. “Josh allowed us to look at deliveries from a new perspective and I believe his placement was a great benefit to everyone involved”, reflects Chris.
Overall, Josh found his placement to be a very positive experience ad feels that the experience has opened his eyes to new opportunities for after he graduates. “I would be interested in working for my placement team when I finish my PhD”.