Global Placement Stories | Alexandru Toma at RazorSecure as a React Developer

Alexandru Toma is a current Computer Science student at King’s College London. In this entry of Global Placement Stories, Alexandru Toma talks about his time as a React Developer at RazorSecure so far.

Why did you want to do a Placement?

Many reasons. Quick oversight – getting a degree in whatever domain is a learning experience; being part of the real industry is just as important for getting educated in that specific field. A placement is an amazing opportunity to learn, network and discover yourself.

What do you/your team at the company do? What is most exciting about working there?

Here, at RazorSecure, we are taking care of railways cybersecurity. Having to deal with different problems at scale while using a multitude of technologies is quite interesting.

What’s the environment and workspace like? Working hours? Any nice perks?

Very nice, responsive and understanding colleagues, for which I am grateful for. As a nice perk, all the employees will soon get their gym memberships paid by the company.

What would you say are the 3 biggest things you’ve learnt on your placement? (E.g: Independence? People skills? working environments?)

  1. Read your docs. Yes, that is so called “obvious”, but are you really reading your docs? By that, I am referring to the grand scheme of libraries and packages. Whenever you are going to tackle a new problem, be aware it was already probably thought through by someone else before, who probably documented the steps along. Researching the problem at hand very well is the first step in actually saving yourself a lot of time and trouble. 
  2. We are all thought about DRY (don’t repeat yourself), but stop taking it so literally. Reusing whatever piece of code for the sake of “DRYing” it is going to burn you out in the long term. You only have so much brain space for the context of linkings. Save yourself the effort and create instead smaller independent packages – reduce repetition withing the package and stop worrying so much of that one across the modules. 
  3. Time spent learning is never lost time, but do understand that learning comes with active involvement, so go ahead and apply the knowledge you got into real working apps before you decide to move to higher levels of complexity.

How did you pick the placement and what would your advice be to people who are thinking about choosing a placement?

In all fairness, my LinkedIn profile did the talking for me. I have been phoned by a recruiter from RazorSecure to get into the interviewing stage immediately. So, my biggest advice would be to get your LinkedIn profile up and let it do the talking for you where it can. That does not mean you should stop actively applying to jobs – I was averaging around 5 job applications per day.

Why should other students go on a placement? (Contacts, experience, trying a career, independence etc)

I cannot stress enough how valuable this placement has been for me in so many ways. Please get a placement and allow it to reveal so many things about yourself especially. The amount of experience and networking you will get out of it will blow your mind.