Before applying for a graduate programme or opportunity, it's important for you to get a good understanding of what the programme and roles involves, and if this is something that aligns with your skills and interest.
Alfa have outlined below what life on their graduate programme looks like, to help you decide if a career working in software engineering or software consulting is for you.
For our programme, we recruit graduates from all degree backgrounds and disciplines. New recruits will go through an intensive training induction which covers areas such as the assent finance industry, software development and consultancy skills. Supervised at all times by more experience colleagues, now joiners will find that the open culture means they have easy access to senior managers and directors for discussion and guidance.
The initial training period will last around ten weeks and the programme will be delivered by colleagues ranging from junior to senior-level. During training, we will teach you about the company, our product (Alfa Systems) as well as the coding skills you need to be a great software engineer or consultant.
Our Graduate Programme consists of working in and rotating across two roles during your first two years at the company - Junior Software Engineer (Engineering) and Analyst (Implementation). We feel it's important for our graduates to spend time in and developing skills in both these areas, before deciding which they want to pursue longer term in line with their career aspirations, interests and skills.
Our Engineering team is responsible for our industry-leading software product - Alfa Systems. They oversee the:
- Development and enhancement of the product
- Testing the product to ensure it meets our clients requirements and needs
- Fixing any bugs or issues which may arise
- Releasing new product features
As a Junior Software Engineer, you will work in a Product Engineering Team. Each Product Engineering Team is made up of around 5-10 people, all with varying levels and years of experience. As a Junior Software Engineer you will be involved in:
- Enhancing the product
- Gaining experience in our software development life-cycle
- Learning about a variety of functional and technical areas
- Undertaking quality assurance testing
- Helping design product features
- Undertaking code reviews
Key skills we look for in Junior Software Engineers are the ability to problem solve on the spot, think in a logical manner, strong attention to detail, ability to communicate well in both written and verbal form and the ability to think outside the box and creatively.
Our implementation teams are responsible for working with our clients to implement our software product into their businesses. They are involved in various stages of implementation project lifecycle as well as supporting the client though change management.
As an Analyst, you will work in an Implementation Team, which could be based in the UK or further afield in a European location - depending on where the client is based. Each Implementation Team is made up of around 5+ people and is led by a Project Manager. As an Analyst, you will help support the team and be involved in:
- Gathering needs and requirements from the client
- Modifying business processes for clients
- Testing the software and ensuring it meets our clients' requirements
- Transferring data from the client's old software to Alfa Systems
- Helping train client users in how Alfa Systems works and how to use it
- Providing support through the go-live process and into the future
Key skills and competencies we look for in our Analysts are the same as what we look for in our Software Engineers as well as the ability to communicate effectively with clients, ability to build strong relationships, have strong awareness of the project environment and good persuasion skills.
Some of the core attributes we look for in all graduates, regardless of whether they work as a Junior Software Engineer or an Analyst role is:
- The ability to see an end goal, break down the steps to get there and put in the effort to achieve it
- Logical thinking and problem solving abilities
- Enjoy working as part of a team
- A strong interest in both technology and finance
Check out our graduate profiles below from Irfan, Rosie and Doyinsola to get and even greater insight into our graduate programme and to find out about what you could get involved in if you joined our Graduate Programme at Alfa. And if you're interested in applying, visit our profile on GradTouch to submit you application today.
Irfan Raza, Solutions Engineer
"Having spent my academic life in a highly specialised engineering field, it came as a shock to some that I had a desire to switch career paths.
After my PhD, I evaluated what I wanted to get from a future career and these was several factors that were important to be: a challenging job that would allow me to utilise my problem solving skills and allow me to continue learning, working with highly-talented colleagues and a variety of clients, and employer that recognises the importance of culture and social impact, working with the latest technologies, and good career prospects with respect to opportunity and financial reward.
What particularly attracted me to Alfa was their approach of taking on bright people and giving them the training they need whilst on the job. There was no expectation that I learnt to code myself. There is a six-week boot camp for all new joiners, during which they learn about coding in Java and the software that Alfa creates, Importantly, the support doesn't cease at the end of the boot camp, there's a real sense of "a problem shared is a problem halved" - which is a great attitude for a company to have.
I have been at Alfa for over three years now, and I can honestly say that it has delivered on everything I was looking for in my career. I do feel challenged in my role and there is always something new to learn about. I have had the opportunity to work with brilliant colleagues and clients as far away as the Nordics and Africa. What has particularly stood out to me more recently, is how well we have adapted to working remotely. The company has become a lot more embracing of working from home lifestyles, but more importantly, there are still many who can't wait for the office to reopen and for us to continue our strong working culture in person."
Rosie Carroll, Junior Software Engineer
"Before starting at Alfa, I studied Geology, completed an internship at a FinTech start-up, and the first year of another graduate scheme. However, I was finding it difficult to find a position where I could improve my coding skills, as i do not have a technical background. Alfa hired me for my potential, as well as my previous experience in different fields. This has allowed me to undergo training to become a professional software developer - all while being supported and paid throughout. Allowing me to utilise my problem solving skills, which I developed in my Geology degree. The interview process at Alfa was refreshing. It was very quick and personable.
I bonded well with my cohort and would meet up after work, which we still do even on Zoom. I was happy to realise that everyone came from a variety of backgrounds and were not all fresh graduates. We had ten weeks training in Java and asset finance, with the last six week writing production code. As a junior software developer, my work is varied from writing code which creates new products for the client and internal improvements.
I like that it is a mid-sized company, as I am able to build a reputation and create opportunities for myself. I have been able to write external blogs, give technical talks and demos to the clients, and organise volunteering at a local charity - Code Yor Future. I am also able to use my interpersonal skills everyday whilst still being a developer. I am happy at my job, learn something new every day, have made great friends, and received great benefits as well."
Doyinsola Ishola, Consultant
"I studied Electronic Engineering at University College Dublin and followed that with an MEng in Engineering and Business. As an electronic engineering graduate, it felt natural to start out in a semi-conductor company, but a little after a year, it became apparent that it wasn't quite for me.
I realised that I wanted an environment where I would have real client exposure, but would also be exposed to exciting technology. Alfa provided such an environment - challenging but with supportive structures. The graduate programme starts you off with an intense initiation where you are immerse in the functional world of Alfa and trained in Java development.
My first role in Alfa was mostly technical and afforded me the opportunity to research and scope out new and exciting technologies that could be beneficial to Alfa and our clients. The role that followed was mostly client-facing, where I continued to develop my problem solving and analysis skills. It also gave me first-hand experience with managing client relationships.
An important realisation I made prior to joining Alfa was that enjoying where I work and the day-to-day interactions with colleagues is an important aspect of working life for me. Making these realisations really helped to narrow down my list of prospective companies. In my search, Alfa stood out to me because, in addition to ticking all the career development boxes, it was so very clear that I was going to get on with my colleagues. From first contact with the administration team, to HR and the directors during interviews, you could tell that Alfa valued inclusivity. The drive to foster an inclusive and diverse environment has continued to grow and is backed at every level. Today, I co-chair the Alfa for Racial Equity community, which is just one of the many inclusion initiatives we have at Alfa.
Apart from enjoying my work, the people I've met at Alfa really have been instrumental to settling into life in London. It's great getting to work with so many intelligent and personable people."