Diary of a Junior Developer

Diary of a Junior Developer

Welcome to the next instalment of our blog series, where we chat to people from all areas of IMG ARENA to take a deeper dive into their roles, learn more about what they do and their current projects. For our next instalment we are putting the spotlight on our new technology graduate scheme by chatting to recent grad turned junior developer, Abay Ibrayev, to hear the Diary of a Junior Developer. Keep reading to find out more.

Tell us about yourself and your role

I joined the Frontend Ops team at the beginning of October as a Junior Developer, having recently graduated from university. Initially working on the Digital Data Exchange (DDE) User Interface (UI) for golf and tennis across various tournaments and projects. The DDE platform is used by both our Data Customers and by the IMG ARENA Support team to browse and book content and explore detailed tournament statistics.

This year I started working on a new platform called OPS UI a big, one-stop-shop-multisport platform. It includes re-evaluated internal and external tools for supporting IMG ARENA content and is built with Next.js. I’ve learnt lots through code reviews and attending various project meetings regarding an unsupported codebase, a project I’m really enjoying.

Tell us a bit about your career history, what made you want to go into this type of role?

I recently graduated from Brunel University where I studied Computer Science. This taught me about the field I would go on to work in and the software development process in organisations. During my degree I also carried out a placement year, where I worked at a building material marketplace business doing front-end related work. This is what sparked my interest in working on front-end applications and drove me to pursue it in my career. I used that experience to start looking for other opportunities during my third year of university, to get more experience in this field, and so I got some part time jobs with Front End React (JavaScript) related work.

When I saw that IMG ARENA was hiring, the tech stack was one I really wanted to work on as TypeScript and React really interest me, and I was thrilled when I secured the position! Whilst my degree set me up with solid foundations, the actual skills I got from my placement year were more directly related to the experience I needed for this role.

What is the best part about your role? How would you sum it up in three words?

From the offset, it was clear to me that there were so many learning opportunities available here. Whether it is courses available, tech chats and meetings or the Innovation Week where people present their own projects, this really appealed to me as a graduate as I wanted to gain as much experience as I could. However, since I have joined, my team have been the best part of my role. The feedback I get from my team members helps me grow as a developer and I feel I have improved a lot of my skills from when I joined. They give me tips on how to grow and progress further and are not afraid to have me jump in and get involved. They also really listen to my suggestions and are interested in what I have to say, so they take on my points which is great.

We use new technologies, I work with friendly and welcoming team members and not only am I working on exciting projects, but I am also gaining a heap of new skills, so I would sum up my role with the word’s technology, teamwork, and development.



Tell us about an exciting project you’re working on at the moment.

Since the beginning of this year, we have been working on a multisport Ops UI platform which is like a renovated mix of all the previous platforms that we have had in the past. As we’re developing it mostly from scratch, there is so much going on which is exciting as it has given me the opportunity to work on the tech stack and allowed me to learn from a very skilled team. The approach to the project has also been great as during code reviews we all discuss how things should work and feed off each other to plan things together. It makes everything more exciting as you get really involved, so, I’m really looking forward to us presenting it when it is eventually ready.

💡 How have you found the transition from university to the world of work?

Throughout my years at university, we had different projects where we would work in small teams and that really helped to prepare us for this field. When I graduated, my university experience was very similar to the structure and culture at IMG ARENA, which made the transition a very easy! We tend to work on projects to deliverables that have been sent, so that made me feel prepared coming into my first professional job. I completed a year in industry as part of my degree, so I didn’t feel it was a big problem coming from university into a career, but once you start you just have to get stuck in and it takes a bit of getting used to.

My team have also really welcomed me in and been really understanding that this is my first professional role; they have been really friendly and quickly introduced me into all of their projects whilst giving me really great advice. I had a supervisor assigned to me when I started, so another team member who for the first few weeks was there to look after me and check in on how I was doing, and just generally act as a mentor. We had a really good time working together and if I had any difficulties he would help me out, and that really helped to make the transition easier as well. So, I have found starting work fairly straightforward as there was really great support put in place to make that transition from university a lot easier and more seamless.

All insights