Tom 2018 Cohort
When applying to the apprenticeship at American Express I wasn't really sure what to expect. I knew that I wanted to work in this industry but I didn't know what the right path to get into it would be. Traditionally, to be a software engineer you needed a degree in computer science and I don't have that and I didn't want to go to university for 3 years, be thousands of pounds in debt and only then get to work in the industry I wanted to. I was quite shocked when I saw that a company with the scale and reputation of American Express was offering an apprenticeship in software engineering. Just reading through the job specification was enough for me to know that this is what I wanted and this is the way I will get into the industry.
Going into the apprenticeship I knew that I would learn a lot of important skills about Software Engineering but I had no idea how accelerated that process would be. The bootcamp at the start of the apprenticeship gave me the foundational skills required to create software at American Express. I learnt the Java programming language from a basic level all the up to an advanced level. I also learnt how to use build tools such as Maven or Gradle and version control systems like Git - I didn't even know that these existed before the apprenticeship but I was trained with them to the level that I was completely comfortable with using them every day for work.
From the apprenticeship, I have learned how to be a competent Java engineer and have learned enough software development skills to become a valued member of a team. I continue to be offered opportunities to learn both as part of the apprenticeship and as an American Express employee.
I couldn't recommend this apprenticeship enough to anybody who wants to get into Software Engineering professionally. There is a lot of work in the early stages but the knowledge you gain is very worthwhile.