At Pace, we’re passionate about bringing through the next generation of developers. As part of our FastTrack Grad Programme we recruit some of the best and brightest graduates and train them to qualify in their chosen specialism. To find out more read our latest article about ‘Life on the Fast Track’ !
In this blog post, we’ll be speaking to someone with firsthand experience of this process.
Hi Mahmood! Can you start off by telling us a bit about you and your background?
My name is Mahmood Ahmed, I graduated from Kingston University in 2020 with a degree in Information Systems. My experience before joining Pace was in Networks and Security, where I interned as a Network Connectivity Lead at General Electric Healthcare.
My interest in APIs began during my final year of University, for a project I worked on where I was required to create a pedometer/step tracker application with Google Maps API integration to track users’ trajectories. Looking back to it, it now seems like a very simple project to complete, however at the time I had many failures and several attempts to get the app to function. The trial and error led to extensive research which made me understand the value and future of API. This then became a major interest of mine and made me want to pursue a career in APIs — so I applied to Pace.
What were your first few weeks at Pace like?
I joined the company during Covid-19 Lockdown, so it was a different but memorable experience. However, with everything that was going on in the world, Pace gave me an amazing welcome to the company. My first meeting was a virtual social meet which was full of games and an extremely challenging painting session.
During my first week, I was given my MuleSoft training material and met one of our Senior Integration Architects whom I now work very closely with. I was also told about the several future paths I could tap into after gaining enough experience as an Analyst Developer, such as a Senior Developer and Integration Architect. The Pace MuleSoft capability lead, has been hugely helpful to provide that extra level of guidance and expertise.
How did you find your MuleSoft training?
The MuleSoft training was a great experience, I learned so much within a few weeks. The material and content provided by MuleSoft is very well structured, with the self-paced videos and content. Throughout the training cycle, our Senior Developer, MuleSoft Capability lead, and Integration Architect ran several sessions walking through API development lifecycles, features and functionalities of MuleSoft, and demonstrations of API development. The graduates and I were also provided with exam preparation material, such as exam-style questions and API templates to play around with. Overall I am grateful for Pace providing a support network within the company of MuleSoft experts, as well customised learning path on Integration fundamentals and technologies.
How was the exam?
Following the MuleSoft training and initial client experiences, I thought it was finally time to take the MCD exam, which was around four months after joining Pace. The reason for not taking it earlier was simply because I began project work and made that my main focus. My first attempt at the exam was quite challenging and I did unfortunately fail. This was because I was still very new to MuleSoft and API development. Fast forward to another 2 to 3 months, I continued the MCD revision, while also working on new projects and passed the MCD exam!
Do you have any advice for anyone out there preparing for the exam too?
If you’re about to take your MCD exam, I highly recommend going through the DIY worksheets MuleSoft provides in their Anypoint Platform Fundamentals course, as this gives you a better understanding of how to use Anypoint Studio. I’m sure you’ll also complete the quizzes provided at the end of every module, and the practice exam at the end of the training, however, you may find it even more beneficial to create your APIs and play around with different components in Anypoint Studio and try to replicate what you learned in the modules.
What’s your current role at Pace, and what’s your goals for the future?
After doing all this myself, I now develop APIs and work on many projects for our clients who are leaders in the Pharmaceutical industry.
My next steps within Pace will involve progressively enhancing my API development skills and knowledge, then taking further certification exams for RAML, MuleSoft Platform Architect/Integration Architect, as this will hopefully allow further incoming projects which will help continue Pace’s growth.
It was great to hear Mahmood tell us all about his experience on the road to MuleSoft certification. Like all learning processes, it’s a long and challenging journey that takes a lot of hard work. At Pace, we’re committed to helping all of our graduate developers every step of the way, with the right combination of project work and support in studying for the exam.
We think lots of people will be inspired to hear about Mahmood’s progress so far — both in his role at Pace, and his MuleSoft training. And, most importantly, we would like to congratulate him in getting MuleSoft Certified!