Read about Bianca’s journey from training at the Ten10 Academy to transitioning into client work, and the amazing opportunities she has had within her career thus far
The tech industry contains a vast range of different opportunities to experience, right from the beginning. Bianca Walker joined the Ten10 Academy in 2022 and since being placed with her client has had the opportunity to gain experience in a wide range of tools, work at international client sites, and take her career development into her own hands.
How do you feel you’ve transitioned from the Ten10 Academy to your client work?
For me, it was quite an easy transition. The client was very accommodating and they were aware of the knowledge I received throughout my training. They were also very understanding about transitioning with my ADHD and having never worked in an office environment before. I was able to quickly apply the things I had learned, including the little things that made a difference.
Take us through your placement – what client teams have you worked with and what specific projects have you been responsible for during your placement?
My client is in the finance sector, so I was put on the credit risk DevOps team. As part of that, I mainly worked on support, which was mainly managing a platform to check trades before they go live. I had to learn to understand the system, pipelines, and a lot of the DevOps side such as running builds and addressing any problems with the system.
I was then put specifically on support of the system, checking everything had been processed, so we could process our deal checks and trades. It was very important for the company to do this so I was always busy, but I really enjoyed getting thrown into it. Being on support gave me knowledge on a bit of everything and I was doing all sorts, such as development, testing and BA. This meant I could get a grasp of which one I liked most rather than forcing myself down one route.
The client has been building up my knowledge ever since and I have recently moved to credit risk services which is more of a project-based team that works alongside credit risk analysts to build up the system. I realised through this that I really enjoy working in development and I can focus on it more here.
What parts of the Ten10 Academy training have been most useful in your placement?
The most helpful part of the training for me has been the Introduction to Scrum. Understanding those concepts and the framework before going out into the work environment was really important for me, especially in an IT environment – you learn how things overall work in the industry. If you don’t understand where you are and what your position is, it can be challenging, so this was extremely beneficial.
Even though I struggled through a bit of the training, doing a lot of group work was also helpful for me, because it helped me to understand when you get out into your team not a lot of work is done on your own anyway and you can always ask others for support.
What is a normal working day or week for you?
On a morning we typically have our stand-up at 9:30. This is where we go over what we have done the previous day and then get assigned tasks. My BA colleague and I may go for a quick meeting to go over what I need to do and any other knowledge I might need. I then read up extra if I need to for this work and get through it in the day.
Tuesday is usually our office day so we have a longer stand-up as most of us are in. As the week goes on I get through a range of different work, such as testing or analysis. We have discussions with other teams as well to make sure we all know where we are up to with projects.
We have sprints every two weeks which end on a Thursday or Friday, so then by Friday, we have a bigger meeting to go over the projects for the next week ahead.
Have your role and/or responsibilities changed during your time on placement? How have you handled the change?
Going from support to a dedicated project team was a very big change. Support is a lot of high pressure and you have to multitask, jumping from one thing to another. The team I’m now on is taking more time on things and things work collectively. I did get a bit of imposter syndrome because in that team I kind of have to be a certain role and it’s more challenging than being able to pick up just anything. Getting to know a new team as well is a bit of pressure, but it’s in more of a good way.
Because of my ADHD pressure is a better thing for me, as I’m stricter with myself and can work out what I need to do a bit clearer. I was prepared for it and knew my client was looking for someone to build up and do different things rather than keep me in one place.
What technology, tools, frameworks, and processes have you gained experience with since starting client work?
The main tool I have gained experience in is Microsoft Azure, gaining two accreditations currently. We also use C#, XSLT, and Power BI. I have also been looking at a cyber security software we use called Qualys. I have gained so many skills from these tools and have also enjoyed using them.
How has your client supported your development?
Every week we have a coding school meeting with different training lessons to help build up skills. We also have a workshop/book club where we go over engineering culture and other types of conversations like this. The client has been very supportive when trying to help me build up my knowledge in different areas.
We have an innovators day where we have to work out how to solve a problem with different teams which gives you more awareness of other areas too, such as BA, Development, and others and it encourages you to get to know the people in your team and how they work.
What support have you received from Ten10 during your placement?
I’m constantly speaking to Ten10 about my well-being and how I’m doing, which keeps me motivated, but equally focused on my mental health and not getting too consumed in work. This has helped me to get my job done better by having these check-ins. I know I always have someone to speak to if I need it.
Have you been given any extra opportunities through your client work?
We got to go to Utrecht, to the company’s base over there. We got to meet the other teams and go work in the office, which was honestly the biggest building I have ever seen in my life!
We got financial markets training which helped me understand more of the corporate side of the business, which was honestly amazing. I felt like they were really invested in our learning and I still can’t believe we got to do that. It gave me context on why I am doing what I’m doing which was quite nice.
We also have meetings on how to build ourselves up in the company. One way was my mentor encouraging me to push my knowledge on mental health, I am now working on becoming a mental health ambassador here which is really important to me. I have also encouraged talks about neurodiversity.
I was even able to take part in our world culture day, with a little stall for Jamacia. I got to know where everyone from my team was from and got to cook some food that everyone seemed to enjoy!
One of the first things I was told here was to not neglect my psychology degree, as it could help me in a corporate environment and speak to people better. Ten10 also told me this, and that my past knowledge can be used in so many different ways. That ethos was something I really appreciated.