Diana Tomova graduated from the University of Essex with European Studies and modern languages in 2018. She now works as a system admin at Defra and is also embarking on a degree in Computer Science.
When Computer Weekly spoke to her, during the recent ServiceNow World Forum in London, Tomova described her passions as policies regarding nature, air quality, food and water. These are areas where data analytics and IT have a major role to play, and this is why her career has seen her take on the ServiceNow NextGen 12-week technical training programme.
Given the difficulty in recruiting people with the technical skills for IT jobs, developing technical skills in-house can make a huge difference to organisations and help individuals climb the IT career ladder.
Developing internal skills
Internships also offer a way to fulfil technical roles. Prostate Cancer UK, for instance, has been recruiting interns to enable it to modernise its data architecture. The charity received funding to enable it to fix its data problems and hired Gerardo Del Guercio, who previously worked at the Home Office. As the charity’s solution architect, he decided that the Prostate Cancer UK needed to develop a home-grown Extract Translate and Load (ETL) process.
An internship – which lasts a year – is a key part of this. Prostate Cancer UK takes on board a graduate each year to program the extract part of the ETL process, using robotic process automation. There can’t be many opportunities where an internship plays such a crucial role in a software development pipeline.
Del Gurcio has a refreshing perspective on career development in IT. First, there are the interns and people starting out in their careers. Not many organisations are in the fortunate position to be able to offer competitive salaries in the current IT jobs market. “If you can’t keep people with money, then you’ve got to have other ways to make their job interesting. Learning something new, to some extent, is like giving them adrenaline. ‘If I stay here for another year, I’m going to be this person and then I could go outside’,” he says.
Then there are the people in the middle, tied to job security, possibly due to family and financial commitments. What are their motivations? How much do they value a supportive and flexible work environment?
At the other end, there are people like Del Gurcio. These are the highly skilled IT people with years of experience, who are looking to slow down a bit.
The economic climate is driving up salaries. Digital skills are in demand. But IT leaders can and should look at all options for hiring, training and retaining talented IT individuals.