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"I graduated from Sparta Global’s Richmond Academy in 2017 and gained so much from my time there."
Stuart Smith studied management at Birkbeck University and worked as an operations manager at RDM creations after finishing his university course. Stuart then enrolled on Sparta Global’s graduate training scheme to pursue a career in web development. After completing our graduate course and joining IG in London, we caught up with Stuart to talk about his new role, what he has achieved on-site and how Sparta Global’s training equipped him with the practical skills he needed to succeed.
I have always had an interest in learning how to code, but I never had a formal education in technology. Luckily, I enjoy self-learning. I started by teaching myself how to code at home and began using software like Dreamhouse. Once I felt I had taught myself all I could, I joined an external training course to enhance my learning.
I soon felt confident to start my career in tech and in 2016 began looking for entry level positions. It was at this time that I came across Sparta Global’s training academy. I was invited to the recruitment day and was soon accepted for Sparta Global’s 12-week BA training programme.
I graduated from Sparta Global’s Richmond Academy in 2017 and gained so much from my time there. The course content was thorough and fun, while trainer Ollie was phenomenal. He was supportive and inspiring through the whole course. The other graduates were very focused too, they knew what they wanted to achieve and what their career goals were, which in turn motivated me more.
I am now nearly a year into my two-year contract with IG and it was clear from the outset that being exposed to different skills at the Sparta Academy allowed me to hit the ground running. On-site I started working on internal platforms - nothing customer facing – but in the last 9 months I have followed the training path and excelled.
Outside of my regular web development stream of work, I help with events and working within the community. I can see that I am 100% making a difference.
I am currently working on a project exploring ways to improve the user experience on our client platform. Our analytics team flagged to the web development team that clients could be experiencing performance slow down due to a lot of people streaming directly to their panels.
Our solution is speeding up our client’s application to the main trading platform by 50 percent. Clients now have a workplace where they can incorporate different markets and share data in real-time.
Right now it looks a traditional desktop with a series of windows – with each window representing a different market. Users have the option to add as many windows as they like, but I am already working on creating a way for these panels to go to sleep if they are not visible. I expect this will solve any future performance issues related to the streaming of data that is not currently in use. It’s amazing that I am just twelve months in and have already been given the opportunity to actively problem solve in my role.
When I was younger I imagined becoming a website developer would mean working in a really relaxed environment where nobody was micromanaged and people never wore suits. This is exactly what IG is like. It is a really modern and collaborative place to work, where everyone is supportive. This really helps new employees to integrate quickly into the team.
Everybody around me is passionate about the quality of their code because IG has such a high calibre of developers, I am learning so much, so quickly, from all of them. It may sound cliché, but it is just as I would have dreamed of and without my own determination to succeed and the training and support of Sparta Global, I wouldn’t be here.