My Microsoft LEAP Apprenticeship Program Journey — The end in sight.

Michelle Aniuchi
4 min readMay 8, 2020
Photo by Damiano Lingauri on Unsplash

It is with mixed feelings I write to tell you about the end of cohort session happening later on today that signals the end of this journey. It has been a fully engaging 16 weeks of activity and work which kind of explains my absence from here for a month. From the classroom training, to the soft skill sessions, to the projects I had to work on during the course of this program, everything has been nothing short of amazing.

As we draw to a close of the program, I’d like to give highlights of what I have been up to and some things I have learnt in the past month both on the job and during the soft skill training sessions.

On the Job

  1. The Visual Studio debugging tool is one powerful tool that has become on of my favorite things. Coming from a JavaScript background where debugging for me was more of console.log statements and an occasional debugger statement here and there, it was truly refreshing to see how I could easily see my code variables along with verbose error messages if any when running my code in debug mode.
  2. JObject. I discovered theJObject class from the NewtonSoft.Json .net package when I wanted to pass a stringified JSON object from my view to my controller using AJAX. It was from a form in a modal so, the methods I had learnt during the training sessions and the 3 week period we were given to catch up with the technology being used at the Microsoft partner were not properly suited for my use case.

Being the rookie that I am I headed over to google and landed on a Stack Overflow answer providing a solution to a problem very similar to mine. I perused the code and went searching for documentation on the JObject class used in it. I found out it dynamically passes the JSON so that you can map the data and pull out the details you want. So I went ahead and used it as the type of argument I was expecting from the request and voila! I was able to map those key value pairs from the JSON object data that I was passing in the Ajax requested. It also enables me to convert the type from the string which gets sent with the request to the object type I am working with. It felt as if I had struck a gold mine the day I figure it out.

Soft Skill Training Sessions

  1. CV Writing. Tochukwu Egesi’s session on properly formatting your Curriculum Vitae and positioning yourself with well defined goals were quite insightful and refreshing to hear.
  2. Presentation Skills. It’s easy to think that being a software developer requires only the technical skills but there are times you would have to interface with a client and present pitches of what you’re working on and that was where Viv Atureta’s interactive session on presentation was quite insightful. Her insights from showing us how to easily get a presentation started by writing out an outline, sectioning various parts of our presentations under heading, to showing uploading that outline in MS Powerpoint and making use of the Designer (PowerPoint Design Ideas) feature to easily get aesthetically pleasing slides, to manipulating pictures and adding graphs and tables were very eye opening.
  3. Design Thinking. Prior to Ifeanyi Aneke’s session with us on design thinking, there was very little I knew about it. It is basically a human centered and collaborative approach to problem solving that is creative an iterative. He walked us through the mindsets of design thinking — empathy, showing not telling and experimenting. One particular thing I picked from his session was you have to be able to put yourself in the shoes of your intended users. That way, you’ll be able to see things from their perspective before defining the problem you want to solve. I also appreciated the very interactive session during which we applied most of what he talked about to a real life scenario using the Teams meeting use case. We were able to identify some challenges when presenting in teams, define a particular problem we wanted to focus on and prototype our solution on paper.
  4. Emotional Intelligence. Last but not the least, we were discussed emotional intelligence a key soft skill to enable you succeed in the work environment today. The interactive session by Babatunde Vaughan was very enlightening and there are quite a lot of things to unpack from it so I will do that in another article and link back here. However, basically, to be able to lead and collaborate effectively — skills needed in the workforce today — , you need emotional intelligence.

In conclusion, the Microsoft leap journey has come to an end but like they say, it’s not exactly the end. I was one of the 6 chosen to stay on at the Wragby as members of their staff. So this ‘end’ heralds a new beginning and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.

In case you’re reading this and your wondering how to get a kick start on your career in Tech as a woman, I would highly recommend this program for you. So make sure to look out for call for applications and apply.