Read how Ben transitioned from business finance to business analysis by joining the Ten10 Academy
The Ten10 Tech Academy is a great way to enter the tech field, whether you’re a STEM graduate or are changing from an entirely different industry. Meet Ben Kerridge, a business finance management graduate who was looking for a fulfilling career path when he found the Ten10 Academy.
Ben joined us in April 2021 and has made such a positive impact on his client in the Charity sector, he transitioned to a permanent position as a Business Analyst with them. Before he left, we sat down with him to ask about his career transformation.
Before the Academy
“I was at the University of East Anglia studying business finance management. I graduated in the summer of 2021 and didn’t know what I wanted to do. I took the summer out to look at career options while working in a credit control role (dealing with inquiries and complaints on the phone, chasing people for payments). I was there for six or seven months and during my last week there, I got the call from Ten10 to say I got the job at the Academy.
“Tech was never really on my radar as something to do for a career, but after spending some time thinking about it I developed an interest in it. I found interest in the Business Analysis role, but like any tech role, it can be difficult to break into the market. But when I saw that Ten10 would teach me about all roles available in tech and then place me into my first job, I jumped at the chance.
“On my business degree, we didn’t focus on the tech side at all so it was very limited. We focused on market research, and understanding different schools of thought, so we learned a bit about Microsoft Business Suite and statistical analysis but that was it. That’s why Ten10 appealed to me – that they could teach me on so many different levels. For example, even though I didn’t go down the Quality Engineering route, the QE knowledge I’ve been taught has stayed with me and helped me in my current role.
“Tech jobs are often perceived as anti-social roles – sitting on a laptop all day. They also come across as very hard to get into and it’s difficult to understand all the different technical areas available. Now I’ve been working here for about two years, and even though it can be difficult, you can pick things up quickly. It’s also very social. I have maybe six or seven meetings a day speaking with people from across the business. We have about 400 people working in the IT sector at my placement.”
Training at the Academy
“They take people (like me and a lot of other people I was on the Academy with) who don’t necessarily have a background in tech, so they tailor the training to exactly that. We started with the basics like manual testing, automated testing, and understanding different delivery approaches. We weren’t thrown straight into the technical side, which is good. The social opportunities are also great, like staying in Leeds in housing with other members; not only can we communicate about the training but we can build our relationships outside of work.
“After I finished the core training, I took the opportunity to do the Business Analysis training and understand what is required in that role. That’s what cemented that was the role I wanted to get into.”
Ben’s Academy Training
Core training modules:
- Introduction to the Academy – Overview of the Academy, assessment, and expectations
- Introduction to Agile – Agile manifesto, principles, and philosophy; a simulated practical Agile project
- Introduction to Enterprise IT – IT Architecture; CI; CD; Virtualisation; Cloud; Enterprise IT Roles
- Foundations of Web Technology – The Web (HTML, CSS, HTTP, protocols); APIs
- Data and Database Fundamentals – Data types; databases; relational databases; SQL; non-relational databases
- Development Fundamentals – Essential programming; version control; OO design principles; unit testing
- Foundations of Testing – Testing approaches, designs, and techniques; practical testing; performance engineering
- Foundations of Automation – Automated test techniques and approaches; Selenium WebDriver; intro to BDD
- DevOps – Living in the Pipeline – DevOps tooling; infrastructure automation; CI; CD; quality and reliability engineering
- Effective IT Professionals – Leadership; communication; self-awareness; self-development
Ben’s Additional Training: Business Analysis
- Requirements elicitation; process/data modelling (UML/BPMN)
- Data design (ERDs); requirements documentation; presenting solutions
After the Academy
“The training was so helpful but it’s very different going into client work. It was very nerve-wracking, especially as I was joining partway through a project so I had to pick it up very quickly. But Ten10 has an amazing Wellbeing Team who always hosts an induction, reaches out to you and checks in to make sure you’re okay. I also had a mentor in my placement to make sure I was fitting in, and my core team helped me learn about the company I work for and built relationships with them. Even before they knew Ten10 would pay for any extra courses I wanted to do, my company offered to pay too which was great.
“I have been with the same client since November 2021. A lot of my day is meetings. As a Business Analyst, you have to know what other stakeholders in the business want from your project. I gather requirements and I build and design a lot of the processes with a Solution Architect. I’m usually working on more than one project too so it is nice to have a range of things to do and balance.
“Before starting, my confidence wasn’t that high because I didn’t have much experience. In a Business Analysis role, you have to talk to a lot of people in the business, even higher-ups, and ask tough questions. Sometimes they’ll come back with even harder questions that you might not have the answer to straight away. Managing people’s expectations in the beginning was tough and I definitely had some imposter syndrome early on. But two years later, I have built my rapport up a lot and feel more confident. The feedback from Ten10 and my client have helped tremendously, and my perception of tech is totally different. I never thought I would enjoy my role as much as I do!
“If anyone is interested in the Academy, my advice would be to prepare to be lost at times! You have to be prepared, but it is completely normal to not understand some things straight away. Everyone at Ten10 is there to help, and you will definitely pick things up.”