Students Staff

6 February 2020

National Apprenticeship Week

Filed under: News — Laura Mathias @ 9.53 am

Fletcher Hurn is currently undertaking our Digital and Technology Solutions Apprenticeship at online games developer, Slingo Originals Studio.

The studio is based at our Parkside Office Village on the Knowledge Gateway research and technology park.

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, Fletcher kept a diary so you can get a real insight into a typical week in the life of an Apprentice Developer.

Fletcher Hurn, Apprentice

Fletcher Hurn


Monday morning started with our usual stand up meeting where the whole games team discusses what we did in the previous week and what we’re looking to do next.

These meetings are always useful as I get a sense of direction for the week ahead.

I spent the rest of the morning looking at a bug in the game `Centurion` which was currently being submitted to be certified for release. In our games we can force the outcome of the game during testing to make sure things are working correctly. After some investigation, we resolved the issue.

After lunch, I played an upcoming game called `Advance` that is in development to see if any issues arose and to provide feedback on how the game plays. I also looked at the strategy for this game. Our games have a small element of user choice – this means that we have to make sure we know what the best strategy is so that we can identify the maximum a player could win. After some trial and error with testing we came up with a strategy that we thought was best and the game will now be developed with this in mind.Bottles game


I started my day by looking into another bug with the `Centurion` game we were certifying. Luckily, this was just a simple fix where some code had not been deployed onto the testing environment. After this I spent the rest of the day learning our front-end framework and working on a simple bottle toss game that I had started to create.


Today I spent the morning applying the finishing touches to the bottle toss game by adding sounds and some more animations. Once this was complete, I decided to undertake some university work; catching up on a lecture I had missed using Moodle and then finishing my lab work for the week.

I also completed the upcoming assignment for that module. Feeling very productive, I then picked up a previous project – working on the back-end/server-side of an upcoming game we are hoping to release in Q3 of this year. This was done in Java and looked at the logic of the game.


Thursday was a great day! There was a company-wide tournament on the upcoming game `Centurion` we were about to release which meant that the game was played by everyone in the company in both the London and Colchester offices.  After this, I continued working on the same project I picked up yesterday – with now most of the game logic written, it was time to begin running it and testing it to make sure it was working as expected.

FridaySlingo game

On my last day of the week, I finished off the project I was working on yesterday and added the finishing touches to it, including fixing any obvious bugs I had found (even though it will go through more rigorous testing later in the development cycle). After this I moved on to fixing some issues with some of the servers we have on-site at our office. We use these to run some of the bigger tasks we need to complete before releasing a game where we need lots of cores.

I spent the rest of the day working on optimising the `Advance` game we were looking to run on these servers as it was taking longer than usual. This involved making small changes and then timing the average amount of time each run of the game was taking.

Before the end of the day, we were able to take about 70% off this time. A fantastic result to end a busy week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.