After finishing secondary education, influenced by my brother, I enrolled on a course dedicated to computing. I completed an OND (Ordinary National Diploma) and HND (Higher National Diploma) in computing, followed by a degree in Internet computing and web development. This led me into roles as a web developer for a web development agency in Brighton, a software developer for a computer consultancy company in London Bridge and then onto a .Net developer for Hastings Direct.
Professional and personal development is a big part of what has kept me at Hastings Direct for ten years. As the company has grown I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in bigger and bigger projects, which has been great as I personally learn best when I’m ‘hands-on’.
Throughout my time at Hastings Direct I’ve worked alongside and learnt from many highly skilled individuals. Many of the colleagues I get to work with on a day to day basis include people who have chosen to join Hastings Direct from companies like, Barclays, PwC, Microsoft and many other big name companies from the City.
Hastings encourages us to continually develop and there are opportunities throughout the year to participate in soft skill sessions, technical courses and support to achieve industry recognised certifications.
There are always opportunities for brown bag sessions, lunch & learn events and chances to attend external conferences and workshops. If there are subjects that aren’t being covered, we are encouraged to setup brown bag sessions to share our expertise, skills and knowledge with the team.
You’ll get to work with a great bunch of colleagues who are very intelligent and experienced - I learn something new every day. There is a wide range of technologies to work with, allowing us to become specialists in our preferred area, whilst also giving us experience in new and emerging technologies that might be our next specialism.
As an individual, you will be supported to run with and move your career in the direction that you want. A number of times you will hear the phrase, ‘find what you enjoy doing and make that your specialism’.
Every ten weeks there are two days allocated for Hackathons, where everybody is encouraged to innovate new ideas and work with the latest technologies to allow for development in areas that the company may not yet be thinking about.
Our department also has a performance coach (before joining Hastings, I’d only heard about a performance coach in films or TV shows based around large, high performing organisations). Having watched ‘Billions’, I think Wendy Rhoades could learn a thing or two from our performance coach!
The colleagues I work with are great. Having worked here for ten years I’ve made some great friends and met a wide spectrum of people, each with their own skills and life experiences. There are a lot of people that I get to work closely with that I look up to not only in a professional capacity but that I can also turn to for advice in my personal life. I’m also continually impressed with the ethos of the company, encouraging all colleagues to partake in community/charity days – sometimes with more charity and social events than I can find time to attend!
If you would like to find out more about the opportunities in our IT team, click here