Meet our Academy Consultants – Hannah Stormonth

woman working with a colleague at a laptop

Meet Hannah Stormonth, who joined us in September 2022 and is now working in the Financial Services industry

One thing we pride ourselves on is getting people into the tech industry fast. Take Hannah for example. She joined the Ten10 Academy in September 2022 and, after her twelve-week core technical training and specialist pathway modules, was placed with a client in the finance sector in February 2023. Now she’s spent eight months with her client, we caught up with Hannah to learn how she’s developing and what she has to say to anyone considering their own career in tech.

Where did your interest in technology come from that led to you applying to the Ten10 Academy?

When researching possible career paths in my final year at university, I attended various online workshops about working in technology such as those run by Code First Girls and Bright Network. These helped to solidify my desire to work in the industry as I was excited by the prospect of a career where there was always something new to learn. However, up until the point that I discovered the Ten10 Academy, I still wasn’t sure how such a career switch was possible as many graduate jobs in the field required a STEM background.

Take us through your placement – what client teams have you worked with and what specific projects have you been responsible for during your placement?

During my time at my client, I have been working in the Letters workstream. Within this, we configure letters to be outputted by the client’s pension administration software. I have been responsible for both setting up new required letters and resolving bugs identified by the testers.

As my knowledge of the client’s system has grown, my capacity to deal with different issues has expanded. I am now confident in addressing the majority of issues in my workstream independently. While I work remotely, the client holds quarterly meetups which I’m invited to attend – in my first week on the placement I travelled to one of the Leeds offices for the day and attended a work social event where I met some of the people I would be working with.

What is a typical working day or week for you?

We have daily stand-up meetings where we discuss what we worked on the previous day, any blockers we face and what we will be working on next. Some weeks I will have meetings to discuss upcoming work on specific processes and raise any questions I may have. This is useful to me as it has allowed me to develop industry-specific pensions knowledge, as well as improve my technical skills.

Most of my tasks in letter configuration are either bug fixing or working on Product Backlog Items (for example, setting up a new batch of letters). I will unit test any fixes or new work before they are released and passed over to the testing team. I also have bi-weekly catch-ups with my line manager to discuss my progression and raise any questions I may have.

How do you feel you’ve transitioned from the Ten10 Academy to your client work?

The transition from the academy to my client has been very smooth. Six months in, I am confident I am adding value to the project with the knowledge I have built up of my client’s system. I am able to work independently on tasks in my workstream and also consult others when required.

What parts of the Ten10 Academy training have been most useful during your placements?

Two modules of the training have been particularly helpful:

  • Agile: This was a great introduction to what working in an Agile environment is like. It prepared me well for participating in stand-ups and understanding the software development lifecycle.
  • Effective IT Professionals: This was very useful in adjusting to working on my placement, with it being my first professional role as a recent graduate.

What technology, tools, frameworks, and processes have you gained experience with since starting client work?

  • The client’s bespoke system (pension administration software)
  • SQL Server
  • Azure DevOps

How is your client supporting your development?

I would say I’m developing through the work I’m completing. New pieces of work require me to learn new skills or develop those I already have, so I’m becoming more confident in using the knowledge and skills. I am part of a small team too so we support each other with anything, whether it be reviewing work or taking on other tasks to help meet deadlines.

What support have you received from your client and Ten10 during your placement?

My line manager is always on hand to help me with any queries either technical or pensions-specific knowledge, and anything I want to learn more about can be picked up in our 1-1 meetings. My client has also allocated me time each week to work on getting my Business Analysis certification.

I used Ten10’s ‘development days’ to study for and sit my ISTQB exam, and the company provided the study materials. This is on top of Ten10’s Knowledge Base and regular ‘lunch and learn’ sessions, which have really helped me expand my technical knowledge. I have monthly check-ins with the Ten10 Account Manager for the client, who ensures I have everything I need to work to the best of my ability. There are also check-ins with the wellbeing team, so I also have someone to talk to.

What would you say to people who are considering applying to the Ten10 Academy but are unsure?

Even if you feel like you are not the most technical person in the world, go for it! The training is very much beginner-friendly and you will be surprised how much your transferable skills come into play, whatever your previous experience. I was definitely apprehensive at the start of the Academy but with the support of the trainers (and most of the cohort going through the same thing!) I soon gained more confidence in my technical abilities.

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