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#TechTakeover - Ryan's Story - A Journey from Apprentice to Software Developer

At NCFE, we are dedicated to ensuring that we create and foster an environment for our staff to enhance their skills and grow. We’re passionate about talent in the North East and want our best people to stay here, so we believe that it’s important to offer opportunities to further their career.

This is exactly the journey that our software developer Ryan Richardson has been taking for almost four years. Below, he shares his story on how his career has developed here at NCFE.

Upon completing two years of sixth form on a general ICT course, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go to university or apply for an apprenticeship. After doing some research into possible career paths, I stumbled across an apprenticeship service with opportunities in ICT. At the time, I didn’t know that the placement was at NCFE but I was excited to further my career.

After applying, I embarked on a 6 month NCFE Rising Stars boot camp with around 12 people where I achieved a Level 2 qualification in IT Professionalism. This included many different aspects of IT and helped me to better understand the path that I wanted to go down – which is when I reached the decision that software development was for me.

When the bootcamp had finished, we were offered the opportunity to apply for roles in software development, infrastructure and digital marketing to which I was successful and I was offered a place as an apprentice at both NCFE and another company.

Although both opportunities were very different, I chose NCFE due to its open environment and the main draw for me was the opportunity to be trained up even further.

During my apprenticeship at NCFE, I achieved a Level 3 qualification in software development and was given some great on-the-job experience. I had the opportunity to work on new exciting projects with NCFE’s development team which gave me a real insight into what this career would involve on a long-term basis.

Being actively involved in a project meant that I needed to know all of the latest technologies used by NCFE, so I received training from various members of the development team, who showed me a range of different programming languages which was completely new to me. Learning more about programming at that point in my development really helped me and put me in a great position for moving forwards.

After completing my Level 3 Apprenticeship, I was offered a full-time junior software developer role here at NCFE whilst I worked towards a Level 4 qualification.

Following a year as a junior software developer, I am now in my second year as a software developer and I continue to learn new things regularly. Nowadays, I spend my time working on new systems for NCFE and maintaining old ones relating to internal processes.

NCFE has definitely been key in my career progression and the level of support and training I’ve received since starting has been invaluable.

Are you looking to develop your career in an exciting and innovative environment? We are currently looking for talented full-stack software developers to join our growing team. Please get in touch with us at if you’re interested in finding out more.


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