Love coding and sports? Get ready for a serious case of job envy. Thomas, a Software Developer at Sky, spends his days working on a load of Sky Sports’ android apps. When all the coding gets too much, he’ll go have a five minute break on the office PlayStation or football table, and then go back to bossin’ it. We warned you. Job. Envy.

So how did he wangle that job?! It all started when he spotted an eight week summer placement at Sky on Go Think Big and decided to apply for it! Since completing the internship and his degree, he went on to land a space on Sky’s grad scheme, working with the Software Development team in Leeds. We caught up with Thomas to find out a little more about what software developing really means, what goes on behind-the-scenes at Sky, and his advice on how to land a job at Sky…

“From an early age I’ve always been interested in computers. At college I did Computing and got to grips with coding, developing software, and things like that. I went on to university to do Computer Science with Gaming Development. It’s just always what I wanted to do.

I was looking for internships between my second and third year at university and Sky’s eight week placement came up on Go Think Big. I applied for the internship and from that managed to get onto the grad scheme!

“The placement really helped me because there’s certain aspects of coding which I hadn’t done, I’d never touched JavaScript!”

When we were in the eight week placement we were constantly having meetings with the Head of Sky’s Software Academy, and he was saying that all he heard about us was good stuff and they’d love to get us onto the grad scheme.

I think the placement really helped me because there’s certain aspects of coding which I hadn’t done, I’d never touched JavaScript and then my placement was all in JavaScript and my educational project (which was part of the grad scheme) was all in JavaScript as well! I worked alongside grads who had a bit more knowledge than me, so I was able to learn from them and get a feel of what it was like to work at Sky and decide whether it was something that I wanted to carry on doing.

At the moment I’m working on the Sky Sports android apps, where I look after three apps; UK Sports, the Sports Centre app and Sky Sports Italia. At university I decided I wanted to go into mobile development and preferably android. I’m exactly where I want to be because I love sports as well!

“The best thing about Sky is that there’s a lot of people with a lot of experience working there, and they’ll take five minutes of their time to come and help you.”

Sky is a nice place to work. Day to day we have planning meetings and working sprints. We’ve just gone through some tasks involving fixing bugs and adding a few new features to different apps.

In the Leeds office where I’m based you’ve got lots of pool tables, ping pong tables, PlayStations and Xboxes just for you to have a five minute break, which is key for developers. You can get stuck on a bit of code that you can’t fix, and then get that five minute break and come back to it and you’re like ‘oh, that’s what it was!’

The best thing about Sky is that there’s a lot of people with a lot of experience working there, and they’ll take five minutes of their time to come and help you and stuff like that.

"Sky look for the potential within you, so you don’t have to have a Computer Science degree to get onto the Software Engineering Academy grad scheme."

Sky look for the potential within you, so you don’t have to have a Computer Science degree to get onto the Software Engineering Academy grad scheme. You just have to show that you’re willing to learn and that you’ve got the aptitude. I think a lot of people think: ‘I won’t be good enough’, but if you believe that you can learn  you can convey that in your assessment centres and interviews, and you’re likely to be taken on.

Just always be willing to learn. Don’t think that you’ll come out of uni and know it all. If you come out like that then you’re probably not gonna get into the right places and people are gonna see that you think you know everything! If you’re willing to learn and teach others then that’s key. Always want to learn more, especially in this field because things are always changing.”

Like the sound of Thomas’ job? Apply for work experience with the Sky Software Development team here.

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