May Spartan of the Month: Ali Karami

Added: 8th August 2019 by Sparta Global

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“Unlike a lot of the graduates that join Sparta Global, Ali Karami already had an incredibly impressive education in Computer Science and technology. I have no doubt Ali could have settled well in a research position for any leading university, but his desire to continue his lifelong learning led him to our Academy and I am hugely grateful it did. Ali threw himself into our training and was open to learning new things about a subject he had been studying for years – a real sign of his intelligence and passion for all things tech. His personal progression has been mirrored in his career with us and it’s been brilliant to hear high praise from every client he is assigned to."

Chris White, Sales Director at Sparta Global

How did you get your start with Sparta Global?

Before joining Sparta Global, I had been dedicated to traditional education. I studied BEng in Electrical Engineering overseas, before switching to Computer Science and studying for an MEng in Computer Systems and Software Engineering at the University of York for four years. After receiving a first class honours degree in the subject area, I was offered a PhD position at the University of York and went on to do my PhD studies in Computer Science. My interest and topic of research was Machine Learning (more specifically, Natural Language Processing and Speech Recognition).

I had done everything I could in the traditional learning environment but wanted to continue learning and stretching myself. I started searching for training courses in the Midlands area to upskill myself and move from academia to industry. Sparta Global was offering SDET and DevOps courses at the time and they seemed exciting. I applied, joined the SDET course in Birmingham in May 2018 and graduated in August of the same year.

How did you know Sparta Global was the right path for you?

Before joining Sparta, all my previous work experience was in the academic environment - from acting as a teaching assistant at the University of York (for five years), to researcher, and then as a Machine Learning consultant at Aston University. I wanted to transition to industry and the first step was to gain some industry experience. Sparta was offering the opportunity to work with different clients on a wide range of projects.

How did you find your training at the Academy?

Although I had extensive software engineering experience before joining Sparta, my knowledge of web services was rusty and limited to some PHP, HTML, CSS and some basic ASP.Net. Learning JavaScript and Ruby on Rails were perhaps the most beneficial parts of my training. It helped me in my career a lot!

How did your training prepare you for work?

On site with Sparta Global’s client, I joined a newly built team as a software consultant developing a new service for the DVLA. I can confidently say that I used most of the knowledge I gathered during the course.

What is your current position and with what company?

I am a Software Development Consultant at a Sparta Global client based in Telford.

How did you find/have you found your first tech role?

It was great. There were challenges and opportunities to learn, try and experience new things on a daily basis. Each story or issue that I dealt with gave me a chance to try and learn something new. In addition, being part of an agile team of industry leading experts was not an opportunity to miss. I gained a great deal of experience and developed additional skills by being involved in the Scrum ceremonies and discussing different issues with a wide range of experts including product owners, delivery managers, BAs, developers and testers.

Are you enjoying working in the tech industry and if so – why?

Yes, definitely! Unlike the academic environment that I came from - where you get deep in a specific line of research and hardly move to other fields - the tech industry offers the opportunity to experience a wide range of tech fields and stay up to date with the latest available technologies.

How did it feel to be named Spartan of the month?

It felt great to be recognised for all the efforts and overtime I put in to help meet the multiple deadlines. Also, being nominated by my managers suggests the client is happy and satisfied with my work and this gives me a lot of motivation and personal satisfaction.

Would you recommend Sparta to other graduates and if so – why?

If a graduate is a team player, up for an intensive course and everyday challenges, not afraid of taking ownership of tasks that they don’t know how to do just yet, willing to constantly learn and up-skill themselves and truly enjoys different fields of technology – YES, absolutely. Sparta is the right place for them.

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