If anyone is looking for a place of growth and success in the world of system development then Singular Systems is the place to be. I was lucky enough to receive a bursary from Singular Systems in 2017 and had the opportunity to go to their head office in Johannesburg to get to know the team, culture and to learn what it means to be a software programmer in the real world.
I come from Rhodes University, it’s in a small town, and thus the thought of moving to Johannesburg is scary. I found Singular to be the perfect place for me as I was looking for an environment where everyone knew each other and the employees are not just numbers.
Singular Systems is a relatively small company. I saw that employees were given the opportunity to be involved with a number of projects. People at Singular are always keen to help, and if they are not available they will refer you to someone who is available; this brought comfort to me as I could then easily approach people for help. The staff at Singular are very humble and they assisted me in a manner that made sure I understood the concept of what I was doing, so that when I do it again it all comes back to me. The organisational culture is inviting and I never felt out of place.
During my time at Singular, I was specifically working with SQL and having a basic knowledge of the language I was taken aback by the challenges given to me. Singular Systems has a “learn to adapt” approach, so I obviously had to be agile when approaching the challenges given to me. It was a challenge, but a challenge worthwhile. At Singular you basically learn through practice and this is so important because you actually retain knowledge and speed up your learning. I was pleased by how helpful and understanding everyone was in making sure that I was always on the right track. This also meant not sitting there and being stuck with a problem, but actually seeking help.
While I was based in Johannesburg I had the chance to visit one of Singular’s big clients which showed me some variety which I will be exposed to. We worked on a program that had been developed by Singular. This was an opportunity to see the front end of one of the systems that I was working on, and to actually use it with real clients.
Singular Systems offers tutorials and recordings of particular topics, these are so helpful when you are lost and really want to understand the depth of something. It was such a humbling experience and I am amazed of the amount by knowledge I gained during my time at Singular. I wish I had done the internship work before my SQL exam - I basically wouldn’t have had to study!
One Final Note
I am thrilled that I will be joining Singular Systems in 2018 and I can certainly recommend doing an internship that exposes you to the real world, especially one where you get to learn on the job, experience the needs of clients and the realities of working in a team.