Six years ago, I started my working life at a very large multi-national company. At the time, it seemed like a great opportunity — the open career path, the great benefits and a large number of graduates to embark on this journey together.
As with any new venture, the first months were exciting as I got up-to-speed on projects and processes. However, after a while, I got bored of not being able to do any coding. I kept telling myself that the next project would be better, and that I would be able to work towards a career in one of the few much-coveted developer roles available. As time went on, I changed roles and completed the graduate programme, but never seemed to be able to move into what I actually wanted to do.
After my graduate programme, I took another role much closer to IT. At that point, I’d started feeling more and more detached from my ideal job, and I decided that the only remedy was to make a dramatic (and some at the time said “foolish”) move to a small start-up company near Silicon Roundabout. I actually moved three times to different offices and got to see much of the Old Street–Liverpool Street–Aldgate–Moorgate area. I left behind all the bureaucracy and slowness, but also the inevitable security and comfort.
I must say that I did not and still do not regret that move at all. Being part of a small company — angel funded, growing every day, all-hands-on-deck — was a very exciting experience. I spent my days coding the back-end, answering support tickets and installing hardware on-site. I spent Fridays having beer with colleagues, meeting fellow start-up developers and exchanging ideas.
However, part of me started to miss the promotion and project opportunities that come with a job at a larger organisation. While this would initially point towards going back into a career at a large organisation, I absolutely did not want to replicate the negatives that made me leave in the first place.
I found myself looking for jobs at slightly larger start-ups that would allow me to work on a number of projects. At the same time, my mind went back to GDS, the UK government’s digital organisation, that I’d read about in the past. What if I could somehow combine my twin wishes of small teams where every member is valued with a larger organisation where it is possible to move up and around? I applied and crossed my fingers.
The interview process from start to finish went much quicker than I expected. Before long, I was being offered the role of Developer and could not believe it — this was an opportunity not to be missed!
I handed in my formal notice with somewhat of a heavy heart — after all, I’d immensely enjoyed my time, even if only for a year. But I also handed it in knowing that I was moving to an exciting new period of my career, the responsibility of creating and maintaining the nation’s website focussing my mind.
Here I am now, not too far away from starting and slightly nervous. There will be a lot of on-the-job learning and getting up-to-speed, but I can’t wait to begin! I have decided to create this new blog for two purposes:
- To chart my personal journey through GDS and hopefully provide inspiration for others with similar interests
- To provide an insight into the types of things I will be working on
I hope you’ll join me for this fun journey.