Computer Applications student Alessandro: ”My final goal is to never stop learning”

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Computer Applications student Alessandro Zanni found his passion for programming and after some efficient independent studying he decided to apply to HAMK. Studies started in autumn 2019 and now, a half year later, he works for Kone as a Junior API Developer beside his studies. Combining work-life and studying can be tricky but for Alessandro programming is something he really enjoys and it feels more like a hobby. In this blog post Alessandro shares his experiences and also some valuable tips how he got his job. So keep on reading!

Introduce yourself

I am Alessandro, 27 years old, and originally from Italy. At the age of 22 I moved to Finland in order to complete a double degree in Economics at a university located in Rauma. After graduating I have been working in the field for few years. It was at the age of 26 years old when I realized that “this is not what I want to do for all my life”. Therefore, I started looking for something new, for something that would excite me. It was at this point when I discovered my passion for programming. I began by using all my free time to learn more and more and within few months I shifted from not being able to write a line of HTML code to develop REST APIs in Node.JS

How did you end up at HAMK in the first place?

After discovering my passion, I felt that in order to become a professional I needed mentors, teachers who could help me through my learning process. It was then, when I discovered the brand new course of Computer Applications at HAMK. As soon as I read the Curricula of the course, I decided that this was what I needed in order to succeed.

What do you think about studying here? What have you liked?

What I like the most is the focus on programming. In nowadays world, being able to code and deeply understand how web app or software are developed is essential, not only for programmers, but also for IT experts in general and I would say many business people. HAMK provides a wide range of learning opportunities, which is difficult to find in any other university at the moment.

What has been challenging?

Personally, I found challenging being able to work in teams. Before starting studying at HAMK I have been always developing on my own, thus I needed to adapt to be able to collaborate with other people who come from different backgrounds and skills.

What have your studies included so far and what are you studying at the moment?

So far I had courses about Linux OS (in my opinion a must know), Windows OS, Basics of Programming, Web Development, Object Oriented Programming and many other cool subjects.

At the moment I am just finishing Web Programming, in which we needed to create an entire website using front and back end technologies, WordPress and a very fun project in which we are programming a Lego robot using Java.

Tell about your job as well? How did you get the position and how do you manage to combine work and studies?

I am working at Kone Oy as Junior API Developer. I am mostly focused on API integration using software such as Mulesoft and Salesforce (which uses APEX a Salesforce specific programming language very similar to Java). I found this job by following Linkedin job posts and I believe that the most important steps I have followed in order to get this position were the following:

  • Good looking and detailed CV (detailed != long)
  • Polished Github account, where I was able to show all the projects I have done
  • Online portfolio, where I was able to show some working apps

Concerning studying and working at the same time I must admit that it is not easy, BUT for me programming is a passion, you can call it a hobby. Therefore, I can conclude that at the moment I am having fun from the very early morning to the very late evening 🙂

Tell about your typical day/week?

Before listing my typical week, I can start with a tip: ”find an house close to your work place”. My typical day consists in waking up at 7 AM and start working at 8 AM (I have only 10 minutes from my house to the work place, this helps in maximizing time!). I start my day at work as everyone else, read emails and drink a good espresso.

At 11 AM we have every day a SCRUM meeting in which everyone in the team speaks about what he/she has done and let the others know if there are any blocking points interfering in their flow. I usually finish to work around 4:30/5 PM and at 5:30 PM I go for a 30 minutes run.

After that I cook, eat and around 7.30 PM I start studying. It really depends on the week on how long I study, during calm periods at school I usually work on some personal projects, which could include studying some new languages or frameworks. Finally, I go to sleep at 10:30 PM, I always try to get 8 hours of good sleep.

What kind of future plans do you have?

At the moment I find Kone a very nice place to work at, thus my goal would be to continue within the company and gain more and more responsibility. However, my final goal is to never stop learning, technologies mutate so fast, thus it is our job to keep up with them!

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