Cracking the code for a career in IT

In our latest South Wales Echo column, Ryan Lewis, Resource Lead for our IT & Digital Division, offers his tips on how you can crack the code for a career in IT. 

The IT and digital sector in Wales has grown rapidly over the last decade, with a number of home-grown and national digital companies, such as Smartpipe Solutions, setting up on this side of the Severn Bridge. From cyber security, testing, dev ops to coding, there are a range of IT and digital jobs available across the South Wales area.

While many believe certain qualifications and a degree of experience are necessary, this is not always the case and individuals shouldn't be deterred if they want to consider an IT and Digital careers. 

Initial steps

Here, Ryan, details a number of initial steps that can be taken to help you success in one of these developing IT disciplines - coding. 

1) Research and identify your skill set - there are many different elements to coding, therefore it's important to do your research and decide which type of coding language would be best to start with. From HTML, Java to .NET, there will be plenty of opportunities to learn a range of ciphers (types of code), but as a starting point, it's useful to establish what you're most likely to enjoy.

2) Establish an online presence - if you're not already doing so, it's time to establish an online profile, whether this is through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. As expected, social media is a brilliant tool for tapping into basic coding principles and you'd be wise to take advantage. Aside from basic networking platforms, why not set a profile up on GitHub? Aimed at all manner of coders, GitHub fosters a fast, flexible and collaborative development process that lets you work either on your own or with others. Providing access control, GitHub is just one of many sites that provide aspiring coders with the opportunity to build personal projects or work with others. 

3) Learn - a degree education is not always necessary for a career in coding, and while some businesses will provide training, taking part in additional short courses, going to seminars, attending tech meet-ups, watching online coding tutorials and self-learning in your spare time is always a big plus. If you're open to constantly learning different types of code, you will develop your knowledge further and will in turn, reap the benefits, whether this is through promotions or continued professional development. 

4) Think outside the box - if you are an aspiring coder in higher education, take that extra-curricular entry level .NET course or if you're actually studying an IT-related discipline, why not tailor your dissertation or project so that it actually solves a real-life coding issue or project? In doing so, companies on the hunt for prospective coders are more likely to sit up and take notice of you. 

5) Network - networking is a great tool as you will be able to gain insight into coding as a specific skill whilst also making key contacts so sign up to as many events, cluster groups and exhibitions as possible, interact with key influencers and above all, be seen to making an effort. 

For example, Digital 2016, Wales’ go-to event for digital technology is a great place to start if you are new to networking and have a real passion for working in the technology industry.

The event will be held at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport on the 6th and 7th June and is free to those who want to attend. For more information about the event and to register, please visit >

Ryan Lewis works for us as a Resource Leader for our well-known IT & Digital Division, helping to source jobseekers for a variety of tech roles whilst guiding them through the recruitment process. An MBA graduate, Ryan also helps a number of businesses that have relocated to Wales by providing tailored support and relevant competency frameworks.


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