"If there is one piece of advice that you take from today, keep the relationships with the people you meet. Maintain them, because you never know when you may need to rely on them."
Above is a paraphrased quote from Managing Director, Paul Rehder on my very first day at Deloitte. In March of 2019, I joined Deloitte as a fresh graduate with the Platform Engineering (DPE) team. Throughout the graduate process at Deloitte, it has been nothing short of a roller coaster full of new learnings, new concepts, and challenging opportunities. From assembling our first API in MuleSoft to listening about the importance of inclusivity and flexibility from the CEO, Richard Deutsch. After that first week, we participated in a two-week intensive bootcamp to gain exposure to what DPE is.
So, what did we do?
Simply said, everything! We were mentored by experts in all caveats of the industry. I was able to forge everlasting relationships with mentors and fellow colleagues, as we knuckled down through exercises. It was one of the aspects that I enjoyed the most.
Structure was imperative to our project. We were guided along the project, as if we were building a house.
Our learning avenues explored (in building metaphors):
Delivery: Scope. Figure out dimensions of the land and house size. Discovering the requirements, finding key concerns and establishing the scope. We scheduled meetings with clients to figure out their "pain points" and scoped the problem.
Architecture: Blueprint. It is difficult to describe a building from just one angle. So, it is crucial to develop a plan that encapsulates multiple views of the product. From the requirements, we planned a high-level architecture for data, components, business and service models.
Process: Render. Create a tangible structure to realise our plan. From our business process, we synthesised a framework as a foundation for development.
Develop: Construct. Constructing walls, floors and ceilings. Development begins to piece together a product. We explored various aspects of development including integrating CRM systems and containerising tasks.
Testing: Inspect. Checking the roof for leaks. It would be bad if the building did not support itself. Testing and optimising focuses on making sure the deliverable is up to standard. We applied core testing skills to check functional requirements and explored paths of automation in this space.
Building a house is sure not simple! Experiencing each and every aspect of DPE is critical to know what you are in for. I had the "where should I go?" question looming over my head ever since day one. The bootcamp filtered what I am interested in and provided a platform to meet the teams that are really good at it. Foster those relationships.
How to leverage learning in projects
The purpose of the bootcamp was not to become experts, but to gain exposure to the industry and its opportunities. There are approaches and concepts that I have never seen before. That piqued my curiosity. Then probed me to innovate and explore further.
To keep your career train on track to success, here are three tips from the bootcamp:
- Learn to thrive with collaboration: we all have strengths and weaknesses. Learn from peers and take the step to teach to peers.
- Think progressively: it is impossible to know everything in detail, so ask questions to push the limit of your creative thinking.
- Accept mistakes retrospectively: better to make a mistake here with a mock client rather than a real one, but it is important to reflect on what you and the team can do better next time.
Life as a grad is fast and continuous. We learn new approaches, skills, and technologies every day. Undoubtedly, there will be struggles with foreign knowledge. Even when the pieces might not click, I know that I can learn, that I have a supportive network that I can reach for help and that I can get the criticism to improve.
So, what now?
If you love a collaborative environment, a place where creative minds can tackle the important issues that provide an impact. If you love to be in technology, utilising the latest methods and tools to make a difference... Then what are you waiting for?