After interning at EKM in using C#, I was interested in exploring other tech stacks in addition to the .NET I’d worked in previously. Throughout my first couple of years at University, I’d seen some presentations from some of the team at Sauce about the different tech they’d been working with and ended up talking to them more at a careers event in University, wanting to find out a bit more about what they did.
I was especially interested to learn more about the projects they were building with a serverless stack and was invited in for a chat with John and Matt where I was offered an internship with them. Over summer I got to know the tech stack, product and team and was made to feel really at home, with a snazzy office and FUFF (food fridays) each month to go and have lunch out with the company which was a great time to get to know people better.
After completing my summer 2019 internship, I was invited to stay on and work alongside my studies which was great, with 1.5 days in the office each week fitting in alongside my degree, giving me a bit of escape from University work and really useful work experience. I kept working part-time for Sauce up until I finished my degree and have been working with them full-time since.
I’ve worked across projects, the main one being helping to bring Ideal Heating’s new smart heating app vision to market, building and testing out features like schedule management, geolocation and smart home integration to build the best experience for users. It’s been great to see the product as it’s grown from mockups to a fully-functioning platform.
Sauce locked down just before the UK went into national lockdown back in Spring 2020, while I was still working on my final-year modules and dissertation. Some projects hit pause while the nation moved to work from home, but in Sauce all the projects adapted really quickly to working fully remotely, with demos, client meetings and stand-ups moving to video calls. Fortunately, even though I moved back across the Pennines, I was able to keep working from home.
I think the big fear many have with moving to fully remote working is losing the casual conversations that happen during the day where you get to know your team better. In my team, in addition to the normal sprint meetings and daily stand-ups, we had a call with everyone that we could drop in and out of throughout the day, from quick questions about how some logic works to chatting while we worked. This filled the gap left from having chats at desks and on the way to the AeroPress well.
In addition having a weekly quiz for the whole company has been a really good way to connect with people who I don’t work with everyday, with just about everything quizzed by this point - whether it’s remembering your GCSE Geography on how drainage basins work, or demonstrating your terrible knowledge of early 90s TV shows (big thanks to Mel for making them all!)
I got to play with and learn lots of cool tech during my time at Sauce, from building applications using the Serverless Framework to using CircleCI to continuously test and deploy, which also ended up forming a core part of my dissertation.
From learning my way around the AWS console and using different services for the first time like DynamoDB for large scale data storage and GCP BigQuery for data warehousing, to configuring devices in IoT Core and alarms in CloudWatch to see when services might be experiencing issues.
It was also my first experience working with infrastructure as code, a better way of provisioning and managing services which is especially useful if working in different development and test environments, and making changes in environmental configuration easier to track and deploy. Overall I’ve learned a lot of new technology and had fun while doing it.
I’ve really enjoyed the last year and a half working at Sauce and have had nothing but great experiences. I’ve worked with awesome people on really interesting projects. As I move on to the next chapter of my working life, I’m excited for Sauce and the team as they continue to grow and expand even more.