I joined Invotra in January 2017 as an apprentice and finished my level three course at the end of last year. I’ve always been very interested in technology, and before I joined the company I was a ‘self-taught’ software developer, reading books and watching many YouTube tutorials. I’m fortunate that tech has always come very naturally to me. What I wanted was a job where I could gain industry experience and progress more quickly than I would have if I’d have gone to university – so an apprenticeship was my preferred route.
When I came in for an interview with Invotra, I decided to share some of my learnings and mentioned that I had developed my own key logger software (which picks up keystrokes and sends log files back to designated recipients). This type of software is often used with malicious intent, but I just wanted to have a go at developing it and testing my technical skills. During the interview, I was put onto a call with Invotra’s Chief Technical Officer, Jonnie Russell to talk him through how I’d developed it, and was offered the job very shortly afterwards! From that point, I’ve felt really valued here. It feels like everyone has an important responsibility, and the work that each of us does has a significant influence on the company as a whole. Because of this, we all feel confident and willing to challenge each other if we have ideas for improving something. Although I haven’t had much work experience, I know this is unusual and I feel lucky.
I have friends who studied things like computer science at university, and I’ve developed far more applicable skills than they have in a shorter space of time. Personally, I feel that there’s quite a heavy focus on theory at university, which is important but the focus is disproportionate. Being able to apply your learning every day is far more valuable in my opinion. I really like being around people who are experts and seeing first-hand how a business operates within a competitive marketplace.
After I finished my level three apprenticeship I started on the BSC Digital and Technology solutions degree. Although I am not very far into the course yet, it is definitely a lot more detailed than my previous level three qualification. Whereas my level 3 gave me the foundation skills I needed to work at Invotra, I feel that this degree is going to give me the opportunity and knowledge I need to really kick-start my career.
In the future, I want to go into React development, finish my apprenticeship and see where the knowledge and skills I have gained can take me in my career.