Name: Sion Williams
Apprenticeship Programme: Software Engineering Apprentice (Year 3)
What is your education / work background?
Before I got my apprenticeship with Sony, I studied my A-levels and worked part time at McDonald’s and following completing education, I worked at Halfords.
How did you find the process of applying for your apprenticeship?
Applying for the apprenticeship was very easy and straight forward.
How did you feel when you found out you had gained a place on the programme?
I was so excited when I found out I had been accepted on the Apprenticeship Programme. This was one step closer to achieving a career in software development that I had always wanted. I was really keen to see first-hand how Sony operated and get stuck into learning about their technologies and how they worked.
What is a typical day like on the programme?
My day usually starts by checking whether I have any support tasks to complete – this takes a couple of hours before I can then focus on my next development project. This will then take up most of my day along with self-learning. Normally, we also have a few meetings throughout the day to discuss current projects and to raise any concerns we have. We may have to participate in some calls with other members in the department for training or problems I or other team members may be having. There is also time throughout the day to get in touch with other apprentices and graduates on the programme to discuss key learnings and to help each other with any difficulties or questions we have.
What have you gained from the programme?
So far, I have completed a PHP/SQL course which I have used multiple times in my work, and I am enrolled on many more courses. I have also gained knowledge around how a manufacturing company works and the ways in which it can be improved with technology. Some of the skills I have developed including creating dashboards, database management, developing applications, supporting Oracle and much more. I didn’t have much experience with any of those skills when I first joined Sony and now, I am using them comfortably across the factory.
How will the programme help you with your future goals?
Through the programme a three-year Level 5 university computing course can be achieved, which, with an extra year’s work can equate to a degree qualification. This will not only provide me with the knowledge to become a Software Developer but will improve my CV credentials. Hands on development training alongside support from team members will also improve my knowledge on various skills and tasks. Through the programme you also have the opportunity to enrol yourself onto many extracurricular courses that cover a variety of industries.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of applying for the programme?
My advice would be if you are looking to gain qualifications as well as get hands on experience in an exciting and reliable industry, then an apprenticeship is definitely for you. For me, an apprenticeship was comparable with university as both routes provided a degree certification over four years and I got to take part in practical activities which allowed me to learn on the job, which you don’t get at university. Financially it is more economical than university as the employers pays you to attend the programme, and you are provided with the opportunity to gain further qualifications whilst working.