From Apprentice to Lead Developer in three years

Star Digital, a Northampton-based digital commerce agency have a proud history of supporting the development of young people in the workplace through apprenticeships and internships. Many apprentices who start with Star Digital move into permanent positions having spent a year learning relevant skills actually working on client projects. For one of our past apprentices, Callum Roper, this route has proved highly successful in a short space of time. Callum is now Star Digital’s Lead Developer, supervising a team of eight web developers. Callum’s journey with Star Digital started back in October 2012, when he joined as an apprentice from 3AAA in Bedford. Initially, Callum began his apprenticeship building emails and Pageflip brochures whilst learning the intricacies and application of HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding languages. Through hard work, tuition and mentoring from senior members of the development team at the time, Callum quickly started to make an impact. He even gained his Magento Frontend Developer certification before his apprenticeship had finished. On completion of his apprenticeship, Callum was offered a permanent position with Star Digital as a junior developer, and continued his progress, working on some of the largest Magento implementations in the UK at the time. Then in February 2016, after a meeting with the managing director, Roger Martin, Callum was promoted to the position of Lead Developer – three years and four months after arriving fresh out of sixth form college as an inexperienced apprentice. Callum said of his success, “It has been an incredible few years. Roger and Andrea gave me a chance to learn in this industry when I was an 18-year-old fresh out of Sixth Form and I can’t thank them enough for the all the support and help they have given me since I started. I came into the apprenticeship not knowing anything about web development and it is a testament to Roger, Andrea and all the senior developers and figures in this company that have given me the knowledge, support and experience that I have picked up over my time here. I’m looking forward to helping people who are up and coming apprentices, so they can gain everything that I have and I continue to work hard and strive for further development and success.” Roger Martin, managing director, Star Digital, said,”We have embraced the apprenticeship programme since 2012 and Callum was our first apprentice. He has seen a lot of change, which is to be expected in an industry like ours, and he has embraced and grown with that change. Calm under pressure and a delight to work with we are proud to have Callum heading up the developer team here.” “We have a policy of having two apprentices in the business at any time, and most have gone on to be offered full-time roles. Some have moved on after a further year to progress their careers, one is running their own agency in Spain, another has just decided to go to Canada!” “We are big believers that an apprenticeship is a viable alternative to University for youngsters looking to build a solid vocational career in our industry, and if we can help to produce a new batch of skilled junior web developers every year, then the system works in everyone’s favour.”

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