A very worthwhile experience….

A nervous start….

Today was the day I experienced the working world. I woke up feeling very nervous about meeting new people especially my boss, Mark Plant, for the first time in person. I really wanted to make good first impressions! Mark picked me up and gave me a lift to work as my house is en-route. I was relieved that he is a really friendly relaxed guy who knows his stuff.

Mark introduced me to a colleague who showed me around the building, I was amazed at how large and modern the building is. After the tour, Mark showed me my desk. He then introduced me to some of his colleagues and I struggled to remember everyone’s names!

Mark gave me a presentation about Social Media and Digital Marketing. He explained that people will research a product when they are interested in purchasing it. They’ll use any sources, from newspaper articles, social media posts to specialists/professionals opinions and their online research will determine their choice of product. Mark told me about the different ways that digital Marketing is used to promote Micro Focus products and the Micro Focus company on different platforms.

I was very thirsty after the interesting presentation and delighted to be told that there is a fridge in the office full of FREE DRINKS!!!

I was then introduced to a Micro Focus Product Director called Derek Britton.  To Mark’s surprise Derek gave me a white paper about COBOL to review?! I was the third person in the whole world to have read it. Derek asked if I could review his paper and come up with 10 questions about COBOL to ask him about later in the week. He was very pleased that I found a couple of minor typos and spelling mistakes in his draft copy…..and talked about the importance of ‘peer reviews’.

The first day came to an end and I had had an information overload!!

Lunch Rating = 6.5/10 (Smoked salmon with cheese)

 My working laptop….

I started the day off working on Derek’s project. I was excited when I was told that I was going to be given a laptop to use at work and at home. When I got the laptop, the first thing Mark and I did was create an account on Facebook, Twitter, EveryoneSocial and LinkedIn. We did this to promote my online profile, and start to build my professional credentials.

Mark showed me around the EveryoneSocial tool and showed me how to share. My first share on EveryoneSocial was about the Apollo 11 moon landings which Mark had written to mark the 50th Anniversary of the lunar landings. (I think he likes James Bond a lot)

Lunch Rating = 9.9/10 (Chicken Katsu Curry)

Sink or swim

I felt more settled and was getting used to the office world. Mark set me a new project to do. I had to post about Micro Focus products on EveryoneSocial but there was a twist behind it, the posts had to done in different languages like Russian, Chinese, French, Portuguese, etc… the products I posted were about Visual COBOL, Enterprise sync and security products. In doing this I learned lots of new things about Micro Focus and digital marketing.

After some hard work I took a break and went for a swim in a 72m long pool!!! The longest one in England!

Lunch Rating = 7/10 (Smoked salmon with cheese again BUT with chocolate!)


I got to work and the first thing I did was get a hot chocolate. Today was a hard working day as I posted lots of Micro Focus products on Everyone Social. For some reason one of my posts had created quite a stir in Colombia.

I needed energy to keep me going and so had about 10 cups of hot chocolate!!

Over my lunch break I walked along the high street, exploring Newbury. I got back and stared working straight away, posting some more on Micro Focus products. I’m really getting the hang of posting!

Lunch Rating = 3/10 (Macdonald’s)

Dress-down Friday

Friday is a casual day so I wore jeans and more comfortable clothes. Today was the day I had to give Derek my questions about COBOL and the white paper. I had never heard about COBOL before and so it was interesting to find out about it. The language I am most familiar with is Python.

Derek answered my questions which helped me understand COBOL better. COBOL is easy to learn and interpret. Even though it is almost 60 years old it can be deployed on to newer IT Infrastructures, such as Docker Containers, the cloud and distributed servers. It can integrate with newer languages like Java, C++ and C#. By integrating COBOL with a newer language, it allows for more interesting and creative programs and webpages to be built on reliable existing systems that ‘just work’ day in day out without any outages. Derek then showed me a power point presentation about COBOL which helps explain COBOL in a different way and to get a better understanding about it. It’s a programming language that turns 60 years old later on in the year.

Lunch Rating = 9.9/10 (Chicken Katsu Curry – I couldn’t resist going back for more Soyami)

Manic Monday

I started the day working on the blog that you are reading now. Mark and Derek decided to take me out for a pub lunch at the Catherine Wheel . We walked though the park and along some beautiful canals. We got to the pub and Mark kindly bought me a drink and meal I had a chicken and mushroom pie and a coke. This was the best pie I had ever had!! After some great conversations about COBOL, Enterprise IT and Micro Focus we headed back to the office.

Lunch Rating = 11/10 (Pieminister Fungi Chicken was the clear winner)


So has this work experience been worth it?!

The whole of the work experience has been amazing! Just everything about it. I don’t have any regrets about coming to have my work experience at Micro Focus, it has taught me so much and I have learned so many wonderful new things about business that I wouldn’t be able to learn at school stuck in a classroom. Most of all I learned that I had nothing to worry about….so now it’s time to hand my laptop and work badge in and enjoy the summer holidays….

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