Lindsay MacVean enrolled on the Level 6 Software Apprenticehip Degree in May 2018 after 3 years with Invotra.
I joined Invotra towards the end of 2015, with some diverse and extensive tech experience already on my CV. After I finished my A Levels, I moved to South West Ireland and set up a web design company. I also worked with a venture capitalist to set up CoderDojo – a free coding club for kids which has since gone global and is very successful. As someone who always likes a fresh challenge, I moved to the states shortly afterwards, and attended as many hackathons as I could, and learned a lot about the tech startup community over there. I met someone who was in the process of starting up a facial recognition software company, and I worked with him to build a prototype. This attracted significant investment and media interest but didn’t get delivered to the marketplace as I wanted it to. I returned to the UK and met with Invotra in the Summer of 2015.
In that sense, I guess I’m not your ‘typical’ apprentice, but I liked the fact that Invotra were working on new releases every two weeks, and had an impressive enterprise architecture. I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. I started out in testing, as all new recruits do, then moved into DevOps, and system admin. Shortly afterwards, I became Technical Account Manager, handling and managing any technical questions from our clients; troubleshooting and general problem solving for them.
In May 2018, I enrolled in the Level 6 Degree in Software Apprenticeship, and I’ve just recently finished the level 4 section of the course, and some of my favourite modules to date have been user experience design and big data analytics. I’m quite intellectually curious, and the complexity of some of the modules is a great way for me to ‘keep my hand in the game’ in terms of enhancing my technical knowledge and skills. I also much prefer this approach to learning rather than standardised, curriculum-driven approaches offered by more traditional further and higher education routes. To me, these don’t fit with what’s needed to develop good technical skills. I think it’s much more about peer to peer learning, which is why I find it so valuable being surrounded by lots of very skilled and intelligent people I can learn from, and also share my learnings with others.
When I started out in my career a few years ago, I decided that if you wanted to be a leader in business, you had to have a fundamental understanding of technology, and investing in your tech skills is the most valuable use of your time and resources. Other markets become unstable, but technology continues to thrive and diversify so why not be a part of that? Invotra is expanding all the time, so I’d be open to developing through a number of routes as the business grows and diversifies.
In the last year, I have become the product lead for analytics, this has allowed me to begin solving the problems of hundreds of thousands of users interacting with their intranets every day. I plan to continue to develop my abilities in this area over the next year.