Rosie Latifah John and Mitchell
Aug 30, 2017
7 mins reading time

New Kids on the Block

Hey, we’re the new kids on the block at Holiday Extras, or maybe better known as Industrial Placement Students (IPS) that the company take on every year to work in their web team for experience. Here’s a short summary of what each of us want to achieve in our year at HX and how our first few weeks have been so far!

Rosie Watson


Pod: Euro

Goals for the year:

There are many reasons why I chose to do a year in industry, and specifically why I chose to apply to do it at Holiday Extras. I want to use this year to increase my programming abilities and broaden the types of technologies I have been exposed to, as I had never had much experience outside of my course. Along with this I am keen to learn how tech companies are run and how many large systems can be maintained and improved at such a high rate. I also hope to improve upon the soft skills I currently have to gain more experience; such as giving presentations and writing formal documentation.

How the first few weeks went:

The first few weeks consisted of lots of workshops (to give us a certain level of knowledge to work from) and rotating through 3 different pods (for me it was Euro, Mobile and Integration) to get a understanding of what each team is working on and what their long term goals are. This was a great experience and really helped me understand how all of the different pods worked together to maintain the sites and improve the experience for customers.

The day I was looking forward to the most was the day I was placed into my permanent pod as I was eager to get stuck into a full sprint and be able to pick up tickets that would require more time than you could put in during a pod rotation. Overall, these first weeks weeks have been better than I imagined, the HX team are all extremely friendly and supportive and I have already progressed technically much quicker than I expected. It would be an understatement to say that I am excited to see what the rest of the year will bring.

John Taylor


Pod: Customer Experience (CEX)

Goals for the year:

Before arriving my aim for the year in industry was just to finally apply my knowledge to real systems with tangible results. Now that I’m here I realise there is so much more that I can gain from the year and so many skills I can improve on. Something I especially want to work on are my soft skills; having only ever worked on technology for personal projects or assignments my work has always been very independent. This has left me weaker when it comes to working in a team and ensuring I collaborate and communicate effectively. I’ve already taken steps towards improving this and I hope to keep doing so throughout the year. Besides this, I want to keep expanding my tech knowledge into new areas as well as building a deeper understanding of the technologies I’m already familiar with. I know I will be able to achieve these goals with the wonderful learning opportunities Holiday Extras provides.

How the first few weeks went:

The time I have spent at Holiday Extras so far has been amazing and I know it will only get better. I don’t think there’s any company that could have given us a warmer welcome with such a fun and relaxed environment. Our first few weeks were loaded with workshops, presentations and rotations between pods to gain an understanding of the business, technology platforms and the web team. At times this could be a bit of an information overload but it was nice to be taught on-site and by colleagues that I actually work with day-to-day. I’ve also loved being able to jump in at the deep end and get stuck into work early on, rather than being kept in a restricted environment until we’d gained trust.

Mitchell Rogers


Pod: Booking

Goals for the year:

My goals for the year include progressing with my overall coding ability with a focus on being able to work across multiple languages and frameworks, allowing me to become more confident in the work I produce and broaden my skillset for the future. My second objective is to take a more active role in terms of speaking in front of people and taking the lead on projects, which HX seems to offer a lot of opportunities to work on.

How the first few weeks went:

Starting work at HX has been a new and exciting experience. Having worked for a few years before starting University I had become accustomed to working environments where you are expected to just show up, do your work, and then leave again. Coming to HX has shown me a whole new work lifestyle that fully surpasses what I thought work could be.

During my first few weeks I have been getting acclimatised to what and how people do things here. New tech and languages have been the focus of my work and understanding what it is like to be a part of a team/pod. HX encourages you to ask questions without being judged which has helped me feel more comfortable in the fact that it is ok to be wrong. This has already helped with progressing my knowledge and skills further as it has reduced my worry of not knowing everything.

Latifah Parara


Role: Booking

Goals for the year:

Hey everyone! I’m Latifah, and I’ve been working at HX for around 6 weeks now - at HX, we have the opportunity to wear many hats, and I love having the chance to explore and contribute to different roles. While I’m here, I’d like to enhance my technical skills, design skills, and the ability to work in a team. I’d also love to understand how the different systems interact and come together to create the Holiday Extras website. Last but not least, I’d like to get better at pool!

How the first few weeks went:

I’ve been learning so much and it’s fantastic. The first few weeks sped by; our task was to understand the roles and objectives of different pods by rotating into one per week. I joined the Customer Experience, Payment, and Booking pods - incidentally, the latter is the one that I have finally settled into, and so far I am loving it!

There have been many systems to learn about, and many languages that I hadn’t heard about prior to coming here (who knew that Javascript could be so versatile?) It has been a lot to absorb, but I am thrilled by the challenge of learning how to use each of these proficiently and making a solid contribution towards fulfilling customer needs. Now, I am actively working on completing tasks in the sprints while maintaining Holiday Extras’ coding standards. There is a lot to take in, but I am confident that with the support from everyone here, I’ll know everything I need.

Well, that’s it from us! We will keep you posted so that you can follow our progress by the end the year!

Tags IP,, Tech,, Profiles