2019 marked the year we opened up our first ever Engineering Graduate Program. With so many streams of productivity across the engineering side of our business and with two strong product offerings under our belt, it felt like the perfect time to lift the curtain and invite a new generation of technology enthusiasts into the Movio fold. Hayden Woodhead and Florian Suess stood out of a crowd of eager third-year university students keen to throw themselves headfirst into the excitement and challenges of Movio behind the scenes. In this blog post, we talk to the duo about their experience so far and what advice they have for graduates looking to apply in 2020.
What did you study at university?
Hayden: I studied a Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences at AUT.
Florian: Bachelor of Science, Mathematics and Computer Science at Auckland University.
What part of the graduate program have you enjoyed the most & why?
H: After years of producing code and side projects that are really only for personal use, it's awesome to be able to work on something that's being used by real customers. There have already been several moments where I have gone, "Wow, I'm actually helping!" One of these was when the feature I was helping to write was debuted at a conference. Watching the livestream and seeing our Chief Operating Officer talk about the benefits to customers for a project I was working on was really fulfilling.
F: The people that I have had mentoring me are all so incredible - they genuinely go out of their way to make sure I have a good time.
What has been your biggest challenge at Movio?
H: My biggest challenge? Waking up before 9am. I had my university timetable very well planned out. But, to be serious, on a technical level there are so many technologies to learn and you need to know them as soon as possible. On top of that I also needed to learn how to read other people's code (a very different skill from writing it yourself). I was okay at this beforehand but it takes some practice to be able to open up a project and figure out where you need to work and what you need to do.
F: In my first rotation (we rotate through squads to pick up skills in all areas), we came across a hefty technical challenge involving large quantities of propensity aggregations. We’re talking millions upon millions of calculations, as fast as possible. That took weeks to get to a working solution and months to perfect.
How did your expectations differ from the reality of being a Graduate Software Engineer?
H: As I said, I've been programming for a few years now, but usually by myself. The difference now is that I have a whole bunch of really smart engineers to ask questions, bounce ideas off, and debate technical things with.
F: I expected to be in a pool of other graduates, working together on very basic, non-critical software. The total opposite has happened. I’ve had the chance to work on some highly-visible projects, of which includes the recent inception of the new Movio Media digital product.
What advice would you give graduates looking to join Movio's graduate program?
H: Be ready to defend your ideas but willing to change them. Those smart engineers I mentioned also have really strong opinions.
F: Your key responsibilities are to learn, not be productive. You’ll be surrounded by incredibly smart individuals, all of which are really keen to help you out. Take advantage of that.