Billy Clackers - apprenticeship case study 

Level 3 Software Apprenticeship and Level 6 Chartered Management Institute Degree

Billy Clackers

Billy Clackers has been with Invotra since undertaking his Level 3 Software Apprenticeship in 2011.

I joined Invotra in June 2011, as one of two of their very first apprentices! Before joining, I had very little technical knowledge, I didn’t even know what HTML or CSS were, so it was very much starting from scratch for me. One thing I was sure of is that I didn’t want to go to university, and I wanted to do an apprenticeship. I’d studied ICT at college, alongside accounting and business, and had always been really interested in computers, so software development seemed a natural fit.

I completed my Level 3 Software Apprenticeship, and started working in the testing team, then moved on to do some basic site building using Drupal. At this point I was reporting into someone who taught me a lot about business analysis and I soon realised I was more naturally suited to that rather than the technical side of development and coding. At that point, I joined the product team alongside our COO Paul Zimmerman, and now, I head up that team of four!

Every two weeks, we do a new release of the product, and I’m responsible for deciding exactly what that release contains in terms of new features, bugs that need fixing, better functionality etc. Every other Friday, my team communicates these plans to the whole business, asking for input and feedback. Once everything is agreed, we hand over to our technical team to do the necessary development for the next release. It is quite unusual for an intranet or digital workplace platform to have such frequent releases, but it’s one of our clear points of difference, and it makes my job very interesting.

I’m currently in the process of signing up to the Level 6 Chartered Management Institute Degree, which officially starts in January.  I’ve progressed up to a management role thanks to everything I’ve learned and the experience I’ve gained at Invotra, but I haven’t got any prior qualifications or experience in managing people, so I am looking forward to this course helping to develop my skills in that area, and recognise the ones I already have.

My longer-term goal is to be on the board of Invotra. I feel confident that I’ll achieve my ambitions, as Invotra is a company where you’re really supported to reach your potential.