Friday, 16 September 2016

Personal Blog Entry 1

This blog is a recording of my time on the QA Consulting IT training course at the QA Academy in Manchester. Training began on the 5th of September so at the time of writing I have had two weeks of instruction, they're been pretty fun!

Anchorage building at Salford Quays, our offices are in the wing to the left

QA Consulting has offices for training in the Salford Quays area, just a stones throw away from Media City where the BBC and ITV have studios. Suffice to say the location is very nice what with the tram stops right outside the offices and the area crisscrossed with canals and green spaces.

The training course is up to 12 weeks and will cover various parts of Software Development. After training I'll be assigned a 2 year consultancy role at one of QA's clients.

Week One: Of flats and Java
Home base

Main order of business on arriving in Manchester was to secure proper accommodation, getting a three month lease, right when University terms were starting was proving to be a difficult task. Thankfully I found a place by Tuesday and moved in on the spot. The flat is in Old Trafford to the South so I'll be getting a bit of exercise each morning on the way to the tram stop. Perfect Excuse to play Pokemon Go :)

It was a great, busy week. Settled into Manchester and training. Java is very fun to return to and re-explore. Flat shows promise and landlord is friendly chap and a software developer too. The Java tasks we've been given are good fun, the final one is to implement the board game Battleship!

Enjoyed getting an intro to design patterns, better way to structure code to be more readable and flexible. Had to give a surprise presentation on the Flyweight  design pattern on Thursday but it went fine.

Friday there was a short test on Object Orientated Programming, no issues there. The test assignment was to make a Jukebox Application's Object hierarchy. If only we had access to online materials I could have used an ACTUAL Jukebox program I made previously! Started late in the week on the Battleship task, too much time spent messing around making a library for a default project GUI :P Still I was pleased with what I managed to create:

Weekend: DevOps and Dragons

On Friday the work day finished early for some office social time. Played an enjoyable game of Pirate dice and there was way too much free alcohol on offer.

It was very nice to get to lie in on Saturday, spent morning relaxing in bed. The DnD group actually got together for a session in the afternoon! I'll be playing as an incompetent magical hacker in future sessions. What wonderful typecasting.

Sunday I sorted out the bedding in my flat (finally) and chatted to parents a bit. Been getting through more of the Java textbook that I brought with me. Other than that the day has been a well earned rest.

Week Two: Where we're going we don't need GUIs!

First Monday of a full work week! Amusingly I forgot about the late start on Mondays so I was in at 9am (along with most of the DnD group :P) meant we got to go to Costa for proper coffee. The tutor Aaron is back and we're diving into DevOps (trans: setting up computer systems for serious bizness) It sure involves a lot linux scripting... Been learning some interesting things about Continuous Integration too, software development in the internet era is fascinating.

Best way to use a computer, honest!
For our projects this week we've been using virtual machines and installing software by hand on the terminal in Linux. Surprisingly easy and a bit of silly fun. Using the CentOS Linux Distro which seems nice to use; same graphical user interface, Gnome, as Debian and has useful preset software for server use. Very nice to return to Linux, lots of comfy terminal tools:

Also been playing around with logging into each others VM's using ssh and running some cheeky scripts. Good practical lesson in the importance of setting up network firewall rules >:D

I could get used to this DevOps work, very satisfying to write a script to have a Provisioning tool such as Vagrant setup a server the way you want. Explored using Jenkins (yay) and Jira (boo) to set up a build server. I'll have to look into setting such a build server up for some of my existing Github projects.

In closing

This training has gotten off to a strong start, we'll be going onto Enterprise Architecture next few weeks, Might have less coding involved but it will be fun to be doing some group projects.

The Landlord is finally moving into his room in the flat, meaning that the internet should get sorted out soonish. I'm getting tied of having to piggyback off BT Openzone to get my daily internets.

Pic to the left is of QAbootie, caught him on a wander round the canals. The whole place is great for water Pokemon. I've found the tram is quite good for catching Pokes too, goes at a slow enough speed that the game doesn't twig that you're not walking :D

No comments:

Post a Comment