It is true that regardless of the industry, apprentices are thrown into the deepest part and need to drown or swim. Leados Paul Chester, The Rising Stars Awards 2021 Apprentice of the Year, is arguably one of the latter groups to help develop the large, complex and important tool suite while studying at the university.
What is Lidos and what do you do there?
Leidos’ mission is to make the world safer, healthier and more efficient through technology, engineering and science. We provide our customers with technical solutions to address and solve existing, new and future challenges. It is exciting to work for such a large global company.
I am currently an apprentice to a Lidos software engineer. Originally attending as a Level 3 apprentice as a member of the IT Services Desk, I had the opportunity to join the software team of the Graduate Apprentice Program. My role is to go to college once a week and work on four other client projects.
I have been involved in the development of Intelligent Approach (IA) since I started my degree apprenticeship program. IA is a suite of adaptive air traffic controller tools that safely optimize airport arrival intervals to maximize runway capacity and efficiency and are used at London Heathrow, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and NAV Canada. ..
I work in a team that develops, updates and integrates software for several major airports. As a software engineer, my day to day work varies. I am involved in programming with multiple software languages, writing support documentation, configuring containers, automating build and deployment, testing at both the string and unit level, and identifying bugs . In the college, there is a mix of lectures and live labs related to software engineering.
I enjoy the wide range of abilities and diverse abilities that come with the role of software engineer. Two days are not the same day, and new challenges are always presented. From an early age, I have always been an avid problem solver, figuring out how things work and how things can be fixed or improved. My role is to allow myself to challenge myself when solving complex problems, not only to solve the problem, but to understand when it happened. Technology is constantly evolving, so it requires continuous learning, which I can enjoy from both work and study process.
Please tell me about your entry in the Rising Star Awards.
I didn’t know about my entry until my manager said he nominated me! I was surprised to be nominated for both Apprentice of the Year and Rising Star. I knew I was getting a good response, but I couldn’t think of behind the scenes to be nominated for an award.
I am proud to be nominated because I am reinforcing and recognizing the work I have done and the feedback I have received. As part of my nomination, my manager summarizes one of the greatest achievements I have ever made in my role. He played a leading role in some of the customer-facing elements of the intelligent approach, highlighting my contributions in researching, designing and implementing solutions.
What do the awards mean to you?
Becoming an apprentice in 2021 is a huge achievement, and it is important that my efforts are recognized. The award winning committee, as well as my colleagues, consider me worthy of an award, which gives me confidence and a sense of accomplishment. It’s one of those things that you identify with within your organization, but to others you find it both uplifting and inspiring.
I would not have been in this position if the manager had nominated me and the project I was working on had not given me the opportunity to demonstrate my abilities, work ethic and motivation to learn.
I am inspired by the opportunity to learn more about technology. Opportunities to positively influence technology and recognize my achievements move me further and ensure that I am headed in the right direction.
What is your proudest personal achievement in the last 12 months?
I am most proud to have worked on updating and redesigning the IA control and monitoring interface. This is an important element for users who can both monitor and control the application, similar to a dashboard that the end user sees.
We were able to implement new technologies such as containers to improve the look and feel of the solution and upgrade security. As technology evolves, security solutions need to become more sophisticated to protect against new threats.
You were given the opportunity and time to research and learn all aspects of the solution before making any changes. Learn more about web development and database integration, and containerization and network messaging protocols. Throughout the development phase, we learned about user experience from key meetings and demonstrations with key stakeholders.
Collaboration skills are improved throughout the process, and the knowledge and expertise needed to drive change have been strengthened. I am currently the point of contact within the team for anything related to containers, Simple Network Messaging Protocol (SNMP), and control and monitoring. This in itself is a great achievement and I am proud of it.
What are you working on this year?
This year also, we are working on an intelligent approach and related projects. I am looking forward to the next module in university as it will improve my programming and database knowledge and expertise. The second year of college ends at Christmas. We also want to encourage new talent in technology and look forward to supporting our early careers and STEM programs here at Leidos. I look forward to seeing what other projects I can participate in to broaden my experience and knowledge.
The Featured Stock award will return next year. please watch computing for more information.