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Oli Wheatley – Software Development Engineer Apprentice

Learn more about Oli's experience as an apprentice at Amazon

Oli Wheatley headshot

I studied GCSE Computer Science during secondary school, after which I progressed to studying for A-Levels at college where I studied Computer Science, Business and Physics.

I knew I wanted to get a degree upon leaving college, so I had the choice between University or a Degree Apprenticeship. I didn’t feel that university was right for me as I didn’t want the debt and would prefer to be in a working environment since I learn better with a hands-on experience. I also feel like it will give me a leg up in career after I have finished, having 4 years of industry experience at such a successful company, and a degree at the age of 22.

My day to day includes attending team meetings, designing and writing high quality code, testing code and coming up with new ideas for my team’s products. I also spend some time working on course work for the apprenticeship. I spend a lot of time working on customer facing features which is awesome because I can see my effect on the business and so can Amazon's customers.

I have learned about the application of software development in the workplace, which is often missed in traditional education. Things are done very differently in the workplace in contrast to the classroom and this apprenticeship is a great opportunity to bridge the gap. The program has also taught me about how to act in a professional environment and has helped me to grow up fast from being a teenager since I’m in a workplace most days. (That’s not to say it isn’t extremely fun.)

The experience in the workplace coupled with the degree provides a phenomenal foundation for a career in software development. The skills I have learned will allow me to adapt to new jobs throughout my career. I plan on climbing the software engineering ranks in hope of one day becoming a Principle Engineer.

An apprenticeship is a great opportunity to learn both in a classroom and in a practical workplace. I also find it motivating because you never do anything for the sake of it, everything you do has an impact on the customer which is great since you can make a real impact straight away. It also helps that you have no student debt yet still get all the great benefits of being a student. Amazon’s Software Engineering Apprenticeship puts you in a great position for a future career in software development and Amazon is extremely supportive the entire way.