My Time at Naked Element

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The week before Christmas, Naked Element was delighted to have Chelsea Crawford in the office for some work experience. Chelsea was kind enough to write a few words about how she got on.

When I first found out I’d be doing a week of work experience I was excited, this was a huge opportunity to be able to gain experience in an area I’m extremely interested in pursuing as a career. I was however nervous to say the least. I was told I’d be working in Java, a language I had 0 experience with (though a quick crash course of the basics the weekend before was helpful). I was slightly worried I’d be totally out of my depth, or that I’d be serving tea all week.

The week started with me getting thrown into the deep end of a project. We were given a couple of vague pointers about what needed to be done during the week and were pretty much set free to do as we pleased. The first day was really productive, we fixed most of the problems we were given and I was learning Java along the way (I have a newfound appreciation of semi-colons). It was extremely satisfying to be able to see the project run successfully even after multiple failures.

We managed to complete most of our given tasks in the first day, leaving us the UI to edit/create (it was not a pretty webpage to begin with) for the next day. I loved how varied the work was. I was working in Java one minute and then JavaScript, HTML and CSS the next. I found myself finishing the day with a problem unfixed and thinking of ways to solve it overnight. We ran out of tasks mid way through the week but that only meant were given more to do. I learnt a lot about software development with my time at Naked Element and how simple it is to create a project as part of a group.

One of the best things was that by the end of the week I was able to work independently on part of the project. I was able to get Amazon SQS working and a number of programs that would create/delete queues and send and receive messages asynchronously (something I didn’t know anything about until that day). I was amazed I had gone from barely understanding, to coding Java (with a fair amount of help) within a week.

By the end of the week I really felt that not only did I learn a whole lot of new skills but also that I was able to contribute in a small way to a (mostly) working project. I didn’t really know what to expect when going into my week of work experience at Naked Element but I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Everyone at Naked Element made me feel really welcome. A huge thank you to Paul for giving me this opportunity.

Chelsea Crawford

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