An Alternative Apprenticeship

Michael is our youngest Software Engineer and started when we were invited to offer him some work experience. That was almost 2 years ago. Michael impressed us so much that we decided to support his education and train him up to work for us. He’s topping up his HND with an Open University degree and XperiSoft decided to help. We will:

  • cover his education fees,
  • give him time to study and
  • pay Michael a salary.

Once Michael has completed his course, he’ll have a full-time job with us. Its a modern-day apprenticeship without going through the formal channels.

Tender beginnings

Michael’s passion for computing started at a young age:

“My parents bought me a PlayStation when I was a lot younger. I fell in love with it and my interest in computing sky-rocketed.”

When Michael took his GCSEs, he developed a real interest in developing software.

“My first experiment with computing was pretty simple stuff. Everybody starts somewhere, but I felt a real sense of achievement when I finished things.”

An introduction by MidKent College

During his time at School, Michael successfully completed seven GCSEs and went on to join MidKent College to take a BTEC National in IT in 2010. Successfully completing this, Michael then went on to study for a foundation degree in IT.

One of his modules included the requirement for work experience within a software company. MidKent College’s Employability Officer, Bob Dench, contacted Stuart Haddow to ask for help. Stuart is the founder of XperiSoft Limited and a former student of MidKent College. He was all-too willing to provide assistance and worked with his Technical Director to create a genuine proof of concept for Michael.

Having successfully completed this, Michael returned for another work placement with XperiSoft during his second year of study. During that time Stuart could see evidence of strong personal development in Michael.

“He turned up every day, become more independent, developed new skills and felt more like one of the family each day he was at the office”.

Creating the option

Having successfully completed his course and having acquired his foundation degree, Michael considered taking a one-year University course to complete his education to degree level. However, having learned so much during his time at XperiSoft and having grown so familiar with the team, Stuart offered Michael an alternative; to work part-time for XperiSoft Limited whilst taking an Open University course over a 2-year period.  Michael could earn a bursary and XperiSoft would pay his course fees.  He chose the latter and his journey with XperiSoft continues.

“I get real satisfaction from completing projects here. For example, knowing that Corbin & King is using my CVMinder API to post jobs to or that Canterbury Cathedral is using an interface I wrote and documented feels just great.”

For now, Michael plans to finish his Open University degree, but he’s already thought about the far future and would like to build his own company one day.

“I can’t see me leaving XperiSoft Limited for a few years yet. The company is great and CVMinder is brilliant. I’ve learned a great deal and I appreciate the support of Ian Collier and Stuart Haddow throughout. Their help to complete my education has meant a great deal to me.”


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