My journey so far as a CMS Support Assistant

I am the Napier placement student for the University Website Programme for the year 2016/17, working as a CMS Support Assistant. Four months in, I am really happy that I had the opportunity to acquire new technical and communication skills.

Technical challenges

When I first started, I felt overwhelmed by the initial experience. There were so many new things to learn, including:

  • Going through the process of setting up my local host and getting accustomed to Drush
  • Using both the EdWeb CMS and distribution
  • Improving my PHP and other coding skills
  • Learn various tools such as Git and Docker/Vagrant

I managed to overcome these obstacles with the support of my colleagues as well as after a few Google searches, too! By the end of my first month, I couldn’t believe the progress I have made in my technical knowledge and my ability in tackling challenging tasks.

Becoming a better communicator

While I had to learn new technical skills, the biggest challenge for me was to adapting to the new office environment and learning how to better communicate with colleagues. At our weekly team meetings, I was always quite nervous speaking in front of the team, but I was able to build my confidence gradually.

I even had the opportunity to present to the Web Publishers’ Community about Docker and Vagrant, which are part of our development process. It was the first presentation I had done on my own, but after going through many practice run-throughs, I managed to successfully deliver the presentation.

Presentation: 0 to EdWeb in less than 5 minutes [EASE login needed]

Feeling confident for the future

Now I feel confident about my skills my ability to successfully complete the tasks assigned to me.  If I ever have an issue, I know who to ask or where to go for information. After a few months, I am happy to see that I am a productive member of the team and that my colleagues feel like they can rely on me delivering tasks which is a sign of confidence in my abilities.

It is great to have this year away from university to get practical experience in a work-based environment. This is a unique experience, and I would definitely recommend it to any other prospective students.

I am looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in the next eight months!

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