Studied: Access to Computing
Progression: HNC in Computing
When the software tools in Danny Steele’s workplace came to a halt one day, he decided to try and fix them. His efforts kickstarted new learning goals and career ambitions that he is achieving one by one.
These include completing an Access to Computing course and progressing on to a HNC qualification. His academic achievements, coupled with his work ethic saw him named Walsall College’s Adult Student of the Year 2021.
“I’m humbled by this recognition,” said Danny. “Tuning into the ceremony, I saw how deserving all the learners were; especially in light of all the challenges they’d overcome; particularly over the last year.
“I’m incredibly honoured.”
Software development is where Danny’s future now lies. His interest came about during his 10 years working in Amazon’s HR team and in operations. It was working in the former role that first sparked his career change.
“The software we were using crashed and I thought I’d take a look at it,” explained Danny.
“This was just on a whim. I hadn’t done any ICT since sixth form. But once I started the repair process, I found I was enjoying it. I ended up fixing the problem and future proofing the system. Afterwards, I thought about what I could achieve next.”
And so began Danny’s period of self-study which saw him work through GCSE and A Level textbooks about computer science and software development to better understand programming language and applications. However, going a step further into higher education was something Danny had to think carefully about.
“I spent two years weighing up options around me pursuing a new career; everything from the financial implications of a university course to being there for my kids,” said Danny. “And of course, I needed to believe I was capable of achieving a degree.”
“Creating a five-year personal development plan helped me decide. Having something in black and white keeps me focused. In a way, it’s a pledge for me to fulfil.”
The HNC Computing course represents year three of Danny’s plan, after which he hopes to complete a full honours degree. With this, he aims to return to HR in a systems development capacity.