AWS Re-Start
Duncan Crowther
Duncan Crawford Equal Experts Alumnus

What's New Mon 13th November, 2017

Finding a new life in digital for former service personnel

With our work blinkers on, it’s all too easy to think of the here and now and not of the future. So when we found out about AWS re:Start  – a customised training, mentoring and job placement scheme –  we put ourselves forward to be a partner.

AWS re:Start helps train former armed service personnel in the latest software development and cloud computing technologies, and then offer them work placements that could lead to careers in digital. It’s hugely worthwhile, not just for people looking for a new career path, but for the country as a whole: there are more roles available that require technical skills than there are people who have the right knowledge to do them.

Sharing our values

That’s where, as a partner, Equal Experts comes in. We see AWS re:Start as a good opportunity to give something back and share our expertise. The people who join our network are usually highly-experienced software consultants, but for initiatives like this, we’re happy to offer promising people with experience in other fields, who have similar values to our own, the chance to prove themselves.

Making it work

Gus is an excellent example. Having left a medical role in the army, he spent four weeks in AWS technical training classes, which cover the basics of programming, networks and cloud computing. We then trained him at Equal Experts for a further week to give him an introduction to our way of working, before he joined one of our clients, Co-op Funeralcare, for his work experience.

Gus leapt at the chance:

“It’s an opportunity I’m striving to make the most of. It genuinely is a golden opportunity for military personnel who are keen on learning new skills.”

As for the work itself, he see differences and similarities:

“I find the work I’m doing now is different in a lot of ways. But in terms of the problem-solving process you go through mentally, it’s fairly similar. For example, the way you diagnose a condition in medicine is the same – though the knowledge base is very different. Whereas medicine is more about retaining large volumes of information, IT seems to be more about mental gymnastics and mental arithmetic; being able to think in layers of abstraction. It’s a different thought process, but one that’s equally as challenging.”

It’s been rewarding for us to be able to mentor Gus – in fact, thanks to his work, his four-week placement has now been extended until early 2018.

If you’re a service leaver, a cadet or a reservist, then you may be eligible for AWS re:Start. It’s a fantastic programme and we’re happy to play a part in giving people who are new to the industry the skills they need to prosper in the future.