Case study

Graduate platform developer — Ruthlyn Mollett

Ruthlyn studied game and software development at the University of Sunderland. She landed her current role after completing the tombola graduate scheme

How did you get your job?

I heard of tombola through my husband who had completed the company's graduate scheme in 2015. After seeing how passionate he was about his work I decided to apply for the graduate scheme aswell.

During the interview my technical skills and knowledge were assessed through code tests and I was required to take part in group exercises and an individual interview. Although it sounds like an intense process, I found the atmosphere to be relaxing and informal.

What's a typical day like as a platform developer?

I mainly focus on back end/server side development. I help to create new web pages to implement onto the website. As a team we work on API's, general site maintenance and data access for both mobile and web platforms.

Every day is a school day at tombola; I am constantly learning and developing my knowledge and understanding of the industry.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The role comes with perks such as flexible working hours and free breakfast and lunch on site, which I think enforces a positive and friendly environment. I also find that tombola is a really supportive company, they actively encourage personal development and it's obvious that they want all team members to do well.

Within my day-to-day job I think my greatest achievement has been committing code that I have written to go live on the site. It's amazing to see something that you have spent a long time working on make an impact.

What are the challenges?

One of my biggest challenges is ensuring that all code I create is fluent and consistent with tombola's style. It's also been challenging to learn and become proficient in multiple code languages.

I am constantly learning every day, which can be really intense; however it's great to develop my knowledge and to see how the things that I learned while studying are applied to real-world situations.

In what way is your degree relevant?

I studied games software development, which also covered computer sciences. I learned a lot about the industry during my time studying, which has set me up well for my current role.

The programming languages taught are relevant for my job, and the preparations for working with a team are incredibly relevant in day-to-day working.

How has your role developed?

I have only been in my role for a few months but I feel that each day I am trusted with more responsibility as my skills improve.

I enjoy what I do and I would love to progress to a junior level developer in the near future.

How do I get into platform development?

Never, ever stop learning. Learning new things gives you more personal experience, which can help you in the workplace.

Technology is ever-changing and constantly updating, so you can be out of the loop pretty quickly. Make sure that you keep up to date with industry developments by signing up to newsletters and following developers on social media.

Use your skills and knowledge to create something that you can demonstrate at interview. Employers will be impressed to hear that you're working on a personal project as it shows interest and commitment to the industry.

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