• Name
    Sami J
  • Job Title and Employer
    DevSecOps Consultant
  • Employer
  • Provider
    Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Levels
    Level 6 (Higher) Apprenticeship
  • Training Provider and Qualification
    Digital and technology solutions Professional at Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Occupations
    Computing, technology and digital
  • Apprenticeship Start Date
    Sep 2023
  • Skills Gained
    Communication Project management Stakeholder management Time management Programming
  • What are your interests outside of work?
    Chess, Coin Collecting, Gym, Football
GetMyFirstJob Ambassador

Hello, I Am Sami J

I chose to pursue an apprenticeship because I have a strong passion for diving right into practical experiences. Having previously gained valuable work experience at HSBC, I realised the significance of hands-on learning. Apprenticeships, being a major trend, perfectly align with my preference for learning through action, making it the ideal path for me.

Tell us more about your experience

Can you describe your job and what you do on a day-to-day basis? 

As a DevSecOps Consultant, my daily tasks revolve around addressing assigned tickets with my team, which could range from various Proof of Concepts (POCs) to demonstrating their implementation within the sprint. I collaborate closely with both development and operations teams to integrate security measures seamlessly into the software development lifecycle. This involves overseeing CI/CD pipelines and conducting regular security assessments. Actively engaging with stakeholders, I identify and mitigate potential security risks, integrating best security practices into the deployment process. Additionally, I work proficiently with tools such as Terraform, Docker, Git, and Kubernetes. 


What has been the highlight of your career so far? 

The highlight of my career so far has been initiating and leading Coffee Roulette within our practice. It involves creating an avenue for casual chats, networking, and gaining insights into different teams and projects. The key feature is engaging in conversations with different people every sprint. I took the lead in organizing Slack chats, coordinating availability, and scheduling Webex meetings. The initiative has proven highly successful and widely used, fostering meaningful connections within the team. Its effectiveness was notably recognized higher up, and a senior partner expressed appreciation for the positive impact it has had. I actively lead communities both within and outside IBM, with a primary focus on guiding and supporting apprentices and those aspiring to join the apprenticeship journey. These forums serve as valuable spaces to share insights on securing roles and strategies for upskilling. One initiative I'm particularly proud of involves organizing dynamic sessions on presentation skills. In these sessions, I encourage volunteers to share intriguing details about their roles, fostering an environment that enhances participants' presentation abilities and instills confidence. Witnessing their gratitude for this valuable experience is truly fulfilling. 

What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far? 

Alright, let me break it down from my perspective as a degree apprentice at IBM. The biggest challenge on my journey so far? It's been this crazy learning curve, seriously. I had to start from scratch, grabbing all these new skills – both the techy ones and those soft skills they keep talking about. Building up confidence has been a ride, especially with all these different tasks and responsibilities coming my way. It's like a constant uphill battle. And then there's the tech stuff – mastering it is one thing, but I also had to level up my game in presenting and talking to people. Networking? Plus, being an apprentice threw me into this sea of uncertainty about how everything works. So many questions! But I took it head-on, stayed curious, and got proactive in seeking advice from peers and other apprentices within IBM. This has helped me truly learn what it means to be an apprentice and the challenges you face when entering a working environment after finishing sixth form/college. 


What sort of support network do you have at your company? 

At IBM, my support system as an apprentice is incredible. First off, I've got buddies assigned to guide me through the ropes, making sure I get the hang of things smoothly. Then, there are the career coaches who offer personalized advice, helping me navigate my career path. The foundation managers are there, behind the scenes, ensuring I've got all the resources and support to excel in my role. There are also communities within IBM, they actively assist apprentices like me in developing skills, answering questions, and connecting us for networking opportunities. 

What will happen at the end of your apprenticeship and have you discussed this with your employer? 

At the end of my apprenticeship, the plan is for me to step into a full-time job. Fortunately, my employer has assured me that there's a position waiting for me, which is pretty exciting. We have regular meetings with foundation managers, and they've been super helpful. These meetings are like our roadmap sessions – they guide us on how to progress, discuss potential promotions, and map out our learning plans. So, it's not just about finishing the apprenticeship; it's about gearing up for what comes next and making sure I keep growing in my career. 

What would be your words of advice to someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship? 

My advice for someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship would be to prioritize networking and connecting with fellow apprentices. Building a solid network within your apprenticeship community can provide invaluable support, insights, and shared experiences. Don't hesitate to reach out, ask questions, and learn from others who have walked a similar path. Moreover, focus on honing the specific skills required for your apprenticeship. Whether it's brushing up on programming knowledge or refining soft skills like presenting and teamwork, investing time in skill development will not only enhance your performance but also boost your confidence. An apprenticeship is not just about the job; it's about continuous growth, so seize every opportunity to learn and build a foundation for a successful career. Additionally, my advice would be to embrace the learning journey with an open mind. Be proactive in seeking guidance from mentors and more experienced colleagues. Take advantage of the opportunities provided to expand your skill set and knowledge. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, as challenges often lead to the most significant growth. Lastly, stay curious and stay engaged – an apprenticeship is a unique chance to immerse yourself in real-world experiences, so make the most of it. 

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