A week’s work experience at Micro Focus HQ

Student Matt Hudson reports back on a week’s work experience with Micro Focus at their Berkshire Headquarters in August 2016.

The Arrival

My week at Micro Focus started off with me looking upon a smallish office from the visitor’s carpark.

“Well there’s only a few parking spaces, there can’t be too many people working here…” I said to myself. Turns out I was wrong.

Upon entering the building I soon found out that looks can be deceiving; the Micro Focus HQ is quite like a TARDIS. Bigger on the inside and shaped like one too. The atrium is a sight to behold, 3 floors of office space, kitchens and meeting rooms. The centre of the building is large enough to hold several sofas, chairs, tables and a large, upside down elephant (of course).

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I spent the morning with Customer Care, looking at the ins, outs and joys of customer service. This was followed by an afternoon with Tim overviewing the International Go-To-Market Strategy Organisation (as easy to get my head around as it is to say this department name with a mouthful of crisps).

Off Site

Despite the size of the main site, it’s overflowing with busy people and space is at a premium, meaning the Recruitment team for Micro Focus are based in a small office in an industrial unit at River Park, which is where I spent my second day. Here I joined in the task of recruiting new employees to Micro Focus via the use of countless emails and interviews.

I also attempted a personality assessment given to these new employees in which I found out I was quite unstable, contrary to what I’d thought of myself beforehand. I won’t take the results to heart.

Virtual Insanity

On my third day here, I was introduced to the concept of Virtual Machines over at Development. It sounds crazy but in short, it turns out we can split up computers into lots of smaller computers. I was given a tour of the large and super-powerful computer behind Development’s virtual machines which allows them to run any version of an Operating System on their computers to allow them to test different versions of software.

In the afternoon, I took a look at Pivot tables which are a neat little thing on Excel, they give the people in Sales a nice visualisation of data. One interesting thing I thing I found out was how easily data can be manipulated by graphs and charts; a bump on a line graph can become a mountain just by changing the scale of the axis!

Hard drives are not an easy business

Day four at Micro Focus gave me a useful insight into the world of IT support. Much of my time there was spent pondering over a laptop whose hard drive had corrupted. After hours of work the IT team managed to revive the machine (although little of the original laptop was left).

Tweet Machine

My last day here was spent with Mark in Social Media Marketing. I’ve been able to write this blog about my time here, while also putting my #skills to the #test by churning out Micro Focus related tweets (the record for a work experience student is 87 apparently, I’ve got a snowball’s chance in hell of beating it).

To conclude

So after going round most of the departments here I’ve gained a good insight into the world of office jobs. It’s been exhausting due to the amount of information I’ve had to take in but very enjoyable nonetheless! Thanks to everyone who tolerated me being around, now time to get back to Twitter. #getonwithit…

Matt.

(This is me at an Airshow – not at Micro Focus!)

Matt

Trying different ways to make a difference to the days

Work Experience student Patrick Nield spent a week with different departments in the Newbury Headquarters. But what did he learn, who did he meet and was it better than school? Read on to find out.

Day 1 at Micro Focus: Exploring the server room

My day started with a talk from Oliver on all the products and different packages Micro Focus sells. He went on to explain how services have increased in popularity due to the recent merger with Attachmate. Afterwards, Oliver and I met Rachael who took me through Pivotal CRM for the first time. She taught me how to obtain different information from a set of data using pivot tables.

Later that day I spent some time with David and the developers, where I learned how the product managers manage them and how they would meet their deadlines. Then a different David showed me the online to-do list which he created with some of his team to track progress.

I was shown around the server rooms and learned what each server does before Richard showed me how Micro Focus’ software products are tested. I was even allowed to help install and test one of the products myself – wow!

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Day 2 at Micro Focus: The elephant in the room?

Today I began in account payable with Carrie who showed me how to sign-off payments. When Carrie had finished on the payment sign off I worked with my Mum for a bit who does actually do quite of lot of work here much to my surprise!I then helped Stephanie who started me on the working on fuel cards.

After that I spent my afternoon in operations with David, who took me on a tour around the building to places many people wouldn’t know existed. For example, there’s a room above the third floor where the air conditioning is controlled and there’s an entrance to the top of the atrium. David showed me photos of the installation of the elephant in the main atrium, and when the glass was repaired.

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Day 3 at Micro Focus: What’s in the safe?

I started off today in accounts receivable which is where payments from Micro Focus customers are processed.

In the afternoon I went to customer care. This department helps Micro Focus customers across the world and the team can speak many different languages including French, Italian and German.

I then moved on to HR where I leaned about the various forms and regulations that Micro Focus needs to deal with when a new person joins. I helped fill-out some of the forms which were then placed in an enormous safe.

Day 4: Putting my tech skills to the test at Micro Focus

I really enjoyed today. I spent it talking about computers with like-minded people! This is what I’m most passionate about and the Micro Focus IT team are a really friendly bunch. I helped mend some phones which were needed for new starters to the company.

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Day 5 at Micro Focus: The final task

I’d been really looking forward to my final day with marketing and social media department, but wasn’t quite sure what I would be tasked with. The other departments’ names made my work easier to predict. Marketing and social media covers such a wide range of topics I really could have been given anything to do.  First of all Mark talked me through Digital Marketing before I started on my blog and Tweeting

The main task was to write this blog which is apparently going to be published on the Corporate blog website. I am also trying to write as many tweets as I can to promote Micro Focus. The record I have to beat is 87. I fell slightly short of the target but I did spend an hour with Derek who explained how COBOL and Mainframe technology still powers the world’s IT.

It was a fantastic week – much more fun than school! Thanks to everyone who spent time with me…..

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