Elliot’s work experience at dxw

Why dxw?

Work experience for a 16 year old isn’t flashy. The mumbling and general indignance to do anything stereotypically associated with my age group has meant that in my previous work experiences I have been met with countless thrilling tasks. This has ranged from filing documents from 1981, being left in a windowless room by myself for a week to log credit card statements, to updating the employment information for 9,600 contacts. Then I got the opportunity to have a week’s work experience at dxw and I was excited. I had heard snippets of many interesting things from my Mum (who coincidentally works with dxw and is definitely not the reason this opportunity arose!) like how they won BBC’s Make it Digital’s One to watch’. Most of the technical jargon did indeed fly over my head, but nevertheless I was looking forward to the opportunity.

First impressions

I was told to ask for Vanessa upon my arrival and was met by a frankly awesome and incredibly patient person, who got more awesome when she hula hooped to de-stress and bought the team watermelon to share later on in the week. My first taste of the team vibe was the daily stand up where everyone said what they were doing that day, which was pretty cool from a novice perspective. This was followed by everyone tell me their name and job title which sounds like a small gesture – but after previously being viewed simply as a replaceable, quick fill in resource at my previous work experiences, it was very nice. Without sounding clichéd and pretentious, I quickly recognised that individuality and quality of life are important to dxw.

Doing actual work

I was quickly put to work filing and organising storeroom cables (which is a lot easier with computer experts constantly strolling by) but I mainly soaked up the un-corporate but efficient running of dxw. With the addition of a phenomenal lunch at Red Dog Saloon, my first day had been a success. Day 2 and 3 flew by. I shredded, assembled fans, filed, updated clients of the new address and the attendance status of the previous Christmas party, started writing this blog and updated employees’ machine and software information.

But most exciting was the overview from Vanessa of what dxw actually do and why what they’re doing is so innovative in itself. Understanding how different parts of the office function and the different technologies developers are using was insightful.  For the first time I was being shown around a workplace and having things explained that were completely obvious to everyone else. I greatly appreciated this and felt my eagerness to learn was finally being nurtured.

The next days were spent talking to Chris about operations and running servers, and Leeky and Magda about backend and frontend development, along with some admin tasks. These shadowing opportunities were very interesting as I began to grasp the scope of dxw’s work and how all the different cogs fit together.

On my final day I left my adopted spot at morning stand up and got on with my admin tasks, and then had the opportunity to sit on a quarterly company ‘retro’ . Here I watched as the team wrote post-its for what they thought was going well and not so well at dxw, and stick them on a big whiteboard for all to discuss.  Topics that had the majority in agreement were noted as actions to be taken before the next retro. With everyone in the office coming together it looked like a recipe for success in terms of keeping a happy office environment, which I had learnt was a big part of the dxw ethos.


I would like to thank dxw for having me, the people who sat down and talked me through what they did with minimal use of big words, and finally a big thanks to Vanessa for never leaving me with nothing to do and patiently dealing with my continuous questions. After all, people before pixels!

We have a full schedule of work experience candidates currently but if you are interested in applying for work experience in the future, please submit a CV and cover letter here.