Q&A : Amy Williams - 2021 Industrial Placement

Amy Williams - 2021 Industrial Placement

Location: Bristol, UK
Education: Studying Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol

Tell us about your first few months at SN

Starting in the middle of 2021 has meant my experience with SN has been far from pre-pandemic normal. Employees can opt to go into the office if they’re happy to and there are measures in place to keep everyone safe. This means that the office is currently rather quiet, the break room isn’t set up for socialising the way it usually would be and some of the people I am working with I have never met in person. Yet despite all that I’m really enjoying it so far! From the very first day I have felt like a part of the team and even if there are limited things that can happen in person right now there are still so many other exciting things to get involved with, from learning about all the SN products developed here, to Japanese lessons and Hackathons, to the occasional round of GeoGuessr too!

How are you settling into Bristol?

I moved from Gloucestershire to Bristol when I started university in 2019, not too far from home so I could pop back if I needed to but enough to gain some independence. Since then, I’ve settled in nicely and made a few good friends. I have ended up living with some really lovely people, so I was over the moon when I got an internship with SN which, in addition to being a fantastic company to work for, meant that I could stay in Bristol a little longer.

So far, what has been the biggest challenge during your time at SN Systems?

As a student of engineering mathematics rather than computer science, I was informed from the beginning that this would be a challenging year for me. Even in the first few weeks there has been so much information to take in, but it is good to know everyone else who works here has felt similarly in their early days, regardless of their academic background! Every person I’ve met has said I can ask them any questions so there is no shortage of support and whilst many people at SN are experts in their fields, they are still able to communicate on a simpler level for someone who is less experienced.

What have you liked most so far working at SN Systems?

The best part for me has got to be the atmosphere. In addition to the focus on learning, personal development, and growth there is also an appreciation for the importance of a relaxed, comfortable working environment, strong colleague relationships and mental health. In my opinion, SN has cultivated an excellent balance of these attributes.

What lessons have you learnt so far working at SN Systems?

As important as it is to have a go at something on your own, sometimes the best way to learn is to just ask questions. It can feel at times like everyone else is busy and have better things to be doing or that you are being a bother, but it is far better to ask than to be stuck staring at a screen. Particularly when you’re working with professionals, make the most of it because people want to help you learn.

What advice would you give anyone wanting to get into programming?

Personally, I think the best way to learn something is to do it. With almost any topic that you’re interested in there will be a program you can write that incorporates it. Start small with a simple concept and language (Python is often a good choice for beginners), get that working and then build on it. There are many resources and answers that can be found online so just get stuck in!