We completed our 2nd Graduate program in Polar Cape! Since the first one was a huge success and we got some amazing colleagues from it, we decided we will do it once again. In early summer last year, we started preparing for the 2nd intake of graduates and the first thing decided on were the technologies. This time, we decided on Java (Spring) and Angular. We also felt that a position for a QA who would be part of this team was necessary. After hundreds of applications, tests, interviews we had our champions! The Java graduates, Nikola Kanevche, Jelena Mikan and Natalija Vitanova, as well as the FE graduates, Ivan Mitev, Filip van der Flier Chejkovski joined the program in July 5th 2021. They were completed with their QA engineer, Marija Kmetovska.
After 2 months of courses, and lessons in their respective field, they started working on an internal project called PC Hire. Although the first idea was to build a small app for helping technical interviewers in the interview process, the group was so ambitious and hardworking that they took it to a whole new level and built an end-to-end Recruitment tool that might even replace all current recruitment tools used in the company!
As we stated our experience with the team was great and below you can read about their experience with this program:
Jelena Mikan joined the Graduate program as a Java developer. She described her experience as a great opportunity for beginners to prepare and get to know the whole working process in the company without the stress of making mistakes on a client project. You can find her testimony below:
I was at the end of my studies and wanted to find a company where I could start my career. Polar Cape immediately caught my attention because it has an extensive 6-month program for Graduates that introduces you to the whole work process before you get started on client projects. The program not only met but exceeded my expectations. We were included in the planning process – writing user stories, learned how to work as a team, how to use Bitbucket and Jira and how to develop a REST API in Spring. We even learned about microservices in the end and created a second application that communicated with the first one. I loved working with my teammates, we all understood each other very well and we had no problems communicating and getting the job done. Also, the communication in the company is excellent and we were always able to get help from the mentors whenever we needed it. From the start we were treated equally as all other employees. All these reasons are why I have already recommended the program to some of my younger colleagues from the university.
Nikola Kanevche was also part of the Java team. As he said in his own words: My friend sent me the link for the Graduate program. Till then, I didn`t know what the meaning of this kind of program was, but in the job ad there were enough information for me to get an idea of it. The programs` duration was 6 months. In the first 2 months we were learning things from courses and after that, we started working on an internal project for Polar Cape. Apart from gaining technical skills, I also gained important soft skills. think that after the program I feel more comfortable about presenting in front of other people. I must say, I felt like part of the company from the beginning. I was included in every company meeting, every team building, every party. It felt like home.
Natalija Vitanova was the third member of the Java team. Check out her testimony: I have been following Polar Cape for a couple of months, ever since the previous Graduate Program, and I was waiting for an opportunity to apply for a suitable position. When the 2021 Graduate Program came out and it had a Java position I applied right away. The more I read about the company and the program, the more I wanted to be a part of it. I liked the combination of theoretical and practical knowledge that the program provided. I gained lots of practical knowledge but also learned new technologies that I wasn’t familiar with before. we all worked together in the second part of the program. The cooperation between us was great. Being always a sceptic for teamwork, this experience showed me that teamwork can be a wonderful thing if you are with the right people. The demo in front of the company was a special moment because we had no idea what our colleague’s reaction would be to the application but like I said, the reactions were amazing. We also got especially great feedback from HR, who are ready to start using the application in future recruitment processes, since it is made to make the recruitment process easier for them and for the whole company.
Next, the Frontend team. Let`s start with Ivan Mitev: I found the job ad through PC`s website. As a beginner in programming, I found myself thrilled about the opportunity of working on a real project with Agile methodology and create something from scratch. The program lasted 6 (six) months. The first 2 months we refreshed our knowledge of Angular. After that we started working on a Web application for managing positions, candidates, interviewers, interviews and questions. We worked together as a team and we also had mentors. I must say, working from home did not change anything regarding the communications with our mentors. They were here whenever I or we, as a team needed them.
Filip van der Flier Chejkovski completes the Frontend team. His thoughts on the program: I applied to this program because I was switching careers, so it seemed it was the best place to start my new journey into software development as a career. The recruitment process was clearly segregated into three parts and I was informed upfront about the process after passing the initial test. I expected to gain new practical and theoretical experience, to deepen my knowledge in the technologies I work with, to build something cool and to meet colleagues that are on the same path as myself. I can say that PC has met those expectations. Best moments with the team were the ones when we figured something out that we thought was really hard to do or had no idea how to do it.
And last but not least, our QA engineer, Marija Kmetovska: When I ran into the job ad for this program, I had just finished the academy for QA manual and automation testing, and I was ready to make a career change. The program was very well organized and helped to improve our technical skills. I gained important technical skills like Writing test plans, test cases and bugs, Manual testing (Branch Testing, Integration Testing, Regression Testing), Basic Knowledge of SQL, DB testing, API testing using Postman and much more. We were working together right from the start, and we had a great cooperation. In fact, I’ve learned a lot of new technical things working together with the FE and BE teams during our internal project. Every day was a different story, for me the most interesting day was when we first met in person and got to talk to each other offline. This is a great program for anyone who’s willing to start an IT career.
In the last stage of the program the graduates are being assigned to new projects and they are now working as full-time developers on client projects. So, we can safely say that the 2nd PC Graduate program was also a success! We are looking forward to the next one and stay tuned for that, because it is cooking as you are reading this!