Guest Blogger Luke Mico: The End

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Thats a wrap for LevelUp Build 11! 

Like a lightning flash, we’ve now reached the conclusion of the program. Looking back, the past 6 weeks have delivered some intense group project activity, key learnings, personal growth, diverse challenges and a lot of laughs.

For our final full-day session, each team was given time to finalise their projects, then move onto developing their final presentations.  

To kick of the day, teams and ThoughtWorks trainers were treated to fresh waffles for breakfast, featuring some decadent toppings made in-house which was a fun way to get the teams motivated for the last steps. Post food-coma, each team busily got to work to ready their projects for presentation.  

Starting with our final stand up meeting, each team member covered off tasks they were working on, whats required to achieve the task as well as work through the overall agile process to ensure tasks were flowing through the team to be signed off by our product owner. 

I was able to finish up my assigned development tasks including some pair programming and QA testing, before our incredible ThoughtWorks trainers took us through planning our presentation, sharing some great insights about the what, why, and how of what we aim to communicate. After team member roles were assigned for our presentation, each of the 3 teams gathered together for one last time. 

All in all, our group presentation went off without hitch! Each team member was able to share what they contributed to the project and how we worked together to solve the product owners problem. I felt incredibly proud of our entire team, the hard work and effort paying off, with each of us taking away some key learnings for our future careers. 

To sum up my experience, I had a blast. From start to finish, the team at ThoughtWorks led an incredible, well-structured program that covered a lot of ground, taught me a lot about myself as a developer and how I can better interact with collaborators and cross-functional teams in the future. 

If you are thinking about signing up, JUST DO IT. It has been such a beneficial experience and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

A big thank you to all the ThoughtWorkers who generously gave their time as part of the project, and all the fantastic participants of LevelUp - Build 11 too. 

Guest Blogger Luke Mico: The Halfway Mark


In the lead up to LevelUp Build, the Sydney LevelUp team ran a Guest Blog competition. 
Luke Mico is the winner! Read on for Lukes's blog post about his Level Up experience. 

We have reached the mid-point of LevelUp! The past few weeks have been a hive of activity. Participants have been assigned into their respective groups, three in total: Neptune, Pluto, and Jupiter; each are up and running smoothly. 

Our groups have had some invaluable industry exposure whilst working on their projects. We have learnt extensively on agile methodology, developing user stories, environment setup, pair programming, testing and continuous integration. 

Now, down to business, my team, Jupiter, has been tasked with producing an app. Specifically, an app for a smart watch to assist both elderly people living at home, and the health carers that visit them on a regular basis in their home.   

During our weekly sessions, we have been lucky enough to have presentations by guest speakers across various business functions in the broader ThoughtWorks team.  I found the talk from the Experience Designers,  Shiraz and Meaghan particularly interesting. I gained an understanding of how their roles fit into the bigger picture, as well as how developers (e.g. me) can work more efficiently together to produce better outcomes for users.

We also had a presentation by Will from People and Culture which covered how to land a job in the industry. This session was of particular value to my teammates and I, and will be invaluable in moving forward with our own careers!  

On a project level, each team has been structured with a Product Owner, Business Analyst, Experience Designer and Developers. Each week, we have been paired with either a team member or a trainer from the ThoughtWorks team to break down the project tasks. This has been beneficial to understand what each team member is working on and how to work better together. Each session ends with a team retrospective to reflect on our wins, pain points, questions and action items for the future.  

From here, we move into the final weeks of the program and prepare for our showcase. It has been challenging at times, however, the journey is shaping up to be well worth it and I'm excited to see the final outcome of what each team has created. 

LevelUp Build Sydney will be taking place over the next 6 weeks. Luke will be blogging about his experience here!

Guest Blog: Meet Luke!


In the lead up to LevelUp Build, the Sydney LevelUp team ran a Guest Blog competition. 
Luke Mico is the winner! Read on for Lukes's blog post that effectively captures what the kick-off day is all about.

Hey, my name is Luke and I'm pretty fresh to the world of web development.

Experience-wise,  I'm a code newbie having completed the General Assembly Immersive program. After a career in marketing communications, I'd been itching for a challenge when out of the blue, my eyes opened up to coding and the Wonderful World of Web development (see what I did there!). 

After hearing about the LevelUp program, I was curious to know more, so I submitted my application. With the stars aligned, I was accepted to join LevelUp Build 11 - Sydney. BOOM!

With some trepidation, I arrived at ThoughtWorks Sydney offices for the official kick-off day session, unsure of what lay ahead, but excited about the potential. Any fears were cast aside, as I was introduced to a super-friendly, excited group of participants across web developers, UX designers, product managers and a welcoming team of ThoughtWorkers to boot. 

With introductions made and a quick team building challenge involving tennis balls, it was straight down to business with a presentation on the LevelUp program, what to expect, as well as a glimpse into the projects we would be developing. Hearing about the team projects, technologies we will use including Node & Git, working using Agile methodology, continuous integration, and testing was incredibly exciting.

With our designated teams in place, we spent some time fleshing out user stories and getting to know my team.  Sandwiched in-between, we found time to take part in a team #selfie challenge on the streets of Sydney CBD. No tourists were injured in the process, luckily!  

To wrap the day, each team presented outlines of the project, their Story Cards, User Stories findings which underpin plans for the coming weeks.

With Day 1 completed, I left feeling brimming with ideas and enthusiasm, keen to get stuck into the program and see what we can produce!


Stay tuned...   


LevelUp Build Sydney will be taking place over the next 6 weeks. Luke will be blogging about his experience here!

LevelUp Build 11 in Sydney is open for registration!

LevelUp Build 11 in Sydney is open for registration!

LevelUp Build is a FREE multi week course for anyone who wants help bridging the gap between the classroom and their first job in IT. Online tutorials are great but they can't replicate the experience of being part of a team with a client and a deadline!

If you'd like to take part please register your interest and we'll be in touch. Registration closes on the 1st March, 2018!

REGISTRATIONS HAVE NOW CLOSED.  Please check back for updates on our next intake later in the year. 

Want more? Check out our course schedule!

LevelUp Build runs for six weeks starting on Sat 24th March, 2018.

LevelUp Melbourne registrations are now open!

The LevelUp Team are excited to announce that we're now taking registrations for the next LevelUp Build program in Melbourne! You can sign up at


What is it?

LevelUp is a totally free 7 week program, designed to give you a chance to learn valuable skills in software delivery, from people who live and breathe it every day!


When is it?

The program kicks off on Saturday September 2nd, followed by 6 weekly sessions from 6:00pm - 9:00pm every Tuesday with our final session on Saturday October 14th.


Where is it?

The program is held in the ThoughtWorks Melbourne office at 23/303 Collins street in the CBD.


What does it involve?

During the evening sessions you will work with your team to develop an application that meets your Product Owner’s specifications, whilst learning along the way. The LevelUp team will be on hand to assist with coaching across all aspects of the project, offering guidance and hands on support to help you get your software across the line - but it’s you who will be getting the job done!


Sounds great - where do I sign up?

You can go to to register your application or to check out the schedule for the upcoming semester. Get in fast, registrations close on the 15th of August.

We look forward to joining you for what promises to be an awesome 7 weeks!

The LevelUp Team

Guest Blog: Loretta's report on Sydney EXP

In the lead up to LevelUp EXP, the Sydney LevelUp team ran a Guest Blog competition
Loretta Cain is the winner! Read on for Loretta's report on the event...

On Saturday 30th January I had the opportunity to attend LevelUp EXP hosted by ThoughtWorks. The event ran from 11:00am - 4:00pm with lunch and drinks provided. The day was jam packed full of interesting events running simultaneously spread throughout the ThoughtWorks office space, each session lasted between 20-40 minutes. 

We started the day with a quick introduction followed by our opening keynote speaker. Flick gave a really interesting speech detailing steps we as a community should be taking towards cyber security and explained what a Cryptoparty is and just how beneficial they are for the public.  She spoke of the importance of security online and how technology can have a high impact on social justice. And also how we can promote the importance of security to family and friends. It was clear this was an area she is extremely passionate about. 

Then the fun began as we all scrambled to attend the events that we were most interested in. The first event I chose to attend was an introduction to developing in Android. We were shown the basics of how to set up an Android application and a short demo on building a simple list application. My next event was developer war stories, where two ThoughtWorks employees shared some of their most frustrating experiences as developers. My third event for the morning was all about test driven development and the red green refactor cycle. Two ThoughtWorks employees took us through not only the steps of TDD but also shared personal experiences as to why TDD is so important to utilise while developing. They also demonstrated building a shopping cart application using TDD methods. 

We had a 45 minute break for lunch which gave us time to roam and speak with other students and ThoughtWorks employees, and then the afternoon sessions began. The first event I chose was the careers question and answer session. Two ThoughtWorks employees went over resume tips, interview tips, and previous experiences they have had as being recruiters. They gave us insight into what recruiters in the industry are looking for and appropriate ways that we can stand out from the crowd. The next event was HTML and CSS animation. In this session we were shown some tips and tricks for animation and timing techniques in CSS. The last event I attended for the day was the coin game. The coin game was a team exercise which showed just how important effective communication and planning can be in any team environment. 

Our closing keynote address was an extremely heartfelt and emotional speech by Gerry. He spoke of his experiences working at ThoughtWorks and the incredibly important work he has been able to do with Unicef.  It really was an amazing way to end the day. 

After our closing address we had drinks and ice cream to finish off the day. ThoughtWorks employees stuck around and spoke with the students for several hours answering our questions and entertaining us with some pretty incredible stories. Thank you ThoughtWorks for sharing your knowledge with the community and helping students find their feet in the industry.