Apprenticeship update: Python bites again
It might not be January yet, but it’s time for a new resolution.
In my last update, I shared how my mood had taken a bit of a dip towards the end of October. A particular situation at work had been dragging on for months and the onset of darker winter nights wasn’t doing anything to improve my emotional state.
That post turned into something like an offloading session. I’d been holding a lot of frustration inside and the release of it was the start of helping me see that my negative reaction to situations was just making me feel worse. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to move forward with a more positive mindset and see the silver-linings in everything that’s happening.
Let’s start with how the Data Fellowship apprenticeship is going. Last month’s training on Python sessions weren’t great. Most of my fellow apprentices arrived at them having not finished the required pre-work, and so we spent most of the days going over the basics they should have already covered. We ended up behind on the curriculum and with catch-up work.
Looking back on it now, I know I shouldn’t have let it happen but this put a huge dent in my motivation. Although I managed to get through the pre-work for last week’s sessions on data analysis in Python, very little sank in and I didn’t do anything else to prepare for the subject. I really would have benefitted from spending some of my own time watching a Pluralsight series and playing around with the language, but the drive and enthusiasm to do it was missing.
I’m interested in learning Python from a programming perspective, but it’s hard to get the analysis side stuck in your head when you can’t see yourself using it.
While the training didn’t end up being a total disaster, a lot of what was covered went over my head. The reason for this can mostly be attributed to my own apathy and not doing more to be ready for it. But it’s also to do with the fact that I’m struggling to see how I’m going to apply this knowledge to the data sets I have access to at work. I’m interested in learning Python from a programming perspective, it’s hard to get the analysis side of it stuck in your head when you can’t see yourself being able to use it.
Luckily, I have an amazing apprenticeship coach who I felt comfortable enough to speak to about this. He put my mind at ease by saying it was nothing to worry about right now and, because I’d managed to put so much work into my portfolio already, I could afford to take a break from it for to concentrate on learning Python instead. I’ve bought myself a couple of books so I can start working through them. I’m determined to get to grips with this by the time December’s session on data mining comes around.
Let’s now move on to the Elevate programme, the development scheme I was accepted onto in August. On one hand things aren’t going so well. The other members of my team haven’t been showing up for the weekly training calls and haven’t responded to my messages about meeting up to discuss our project. It seems like it isn’t only me experiencing this problem though, because the coach running the programme is now calling ‘intervention meetings’ to help all five teams get back on track.
I’m not going to let this hold me back. There are other Elevate objectives which need to be fulfilled besides the project so I’ve been focusing on these instead for now. I recently submitted my second article for the apprenticeship company’s blog, about how activities like volunteering and streaming can help boost confidence in public-speaking. And I’m in the process of working with someone else to arrange a meetup group for apprentices who work in IT, which could prove to be very useful.
I need to start feeling like the old me again, change the things I’ve got control over, and help others along the way wherever I can.
To wrap up this update, let’s talk about the work situation. I can finally report that I’ve moved teams so I’m no longer a consultant: I’m now officially a Service Management Improvement Lead. This is only a secondment for a year right now, but it seems there’s a chance it could be made permanent. And if that doesn’t end up happening, I’ll still have 12 months’ worth of experience to add to my CV. That means I’ll be able to look for a permanent IT service management position and won’t have to go back to databases.
Unfortunately, I haven’t escaped from them yet as my old boss hasn’t still found a contractor to cover my previous role. My old teammate has taken over the database side of things, but the identity stuff must stay with me for now because there’s nobody else to look after it. I’m slightly worried about this. Even though there’s a project underway to replace the current identity system, I’ve heard that it could still be in place for the next few years and don’t want to end up being responsible for supporting it through that period.
But let’s look on the bright side. I’ve finally made it into the role I’ve been after since June and am now involved in projects I’m actually excited about. I get along well with my new boss and we think alike, so I really feel like we’ll be able to make a difference. And at the same time, I’m taking the opportunity to teach other teams about the identity-related tasks. This won’t only allow me to eventually step away from them completely but is also giving the others the chance to try something new – just like I had.
I’m going to try and continue this new positive mindset by searching out the silver-linings in all future situations. This can be quite difficult when there’s so much negativity happening in the world around us, but I’ve realised I can’t keep letting this and the way I react to it control me. My emotions may have been dragging me down recently but here’s where that stops: I need to start feeling like the old me again, change the things I’ve got control over, and help others along the way wherever I can.
Yet again, this has turned into another post which is longer than intended. I can only apologise if you’re here for the video games and thank you for letting me get everything off my chest, even if you didn’t make it to the end. I hope the week ahead is a good one and you achieve everything you set out to.