Learn about the CodeClan team – their career journey so far, their passions and interests, as well as their day to day work life.
Meet Neil, our Chief Operating Officer. We had a chat with him about why he chose to work at CodeClan, his advice for those looking to change their career, and what he gets up to in his free time…
Tell us a bit about your role and why you wanted to join the CodeClan team
I’m CodeClan’s Chief Operating Officer and have responsibility for all our student journeys and everything relating to the day-to-day operational effectiveness of our organisation. I was well aware of CodeClan as an organisation before I joined and had noted that it had a real big family feel to it: it seemed open, inclusive, friendly and laid back. And I’m pleased to say that it’s all those things and more! I’ve had experience of working with large, national organisations in previous roles and I really wanted to be part of a small, close-knit group of colleagues that all worked towards the same united goal. In CodeClan’s case, that was filling the digital skills gap in Scotland.
What did you do before joining CodeClan?
I worked for The Data Lab, who are a very similar organisation in terms of culture and the ecosystem that they work in. I enjoyed working with colleagues to leverage social & economic impact in Scotland, plus a very similar impact to CodeClan in terms of bridging the skills gap in terms of data & AI.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
So far, the people I work with! We have such an amazing, diverse & talented team at CodeClan. Unfortunately due to Covid, I started with CodeClan remotely, so have actually only met a handful of colleagues in person. A big part of CodeClan is the on-campus culture, with both staff & students, so it’s a shame that I’ve missed out on that so far. But we have plans to restarting on-campus teaching soon!
What advice do you have for someone who is thinking of studying at CodeClan?
It takes a bit of courage sometimes to step out of a comfort zone in a job and consider a career change into software development or data analysis. And even more so during a global pandemic! But I think if you ask our recent graduates, they’ll tell you that they’re glad they took the leap and that having that confidence to do it pays off after graduating and being qualified to do a completely new kind of job. It’s hard work, it’s intensive work, but it’s very rewarding work.
What do you get up to in your free time?
I love the outdoors. I’m a huge cycling fan and also love hillwalking with my two crazy Hungarian Vizsla dogs.
Who would you most like to swap places with for a day?
I’m going to be really shallow I’m afraid and say some rich oligarch, someone like Roman Abramovich. I mean, who wouldn’t like to lie around on a super yacht in Monte Carlo, without a care in the world?!
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself!
I think I’ve been in paid employment since I was about 11 years old! My Uncle used to own a pub & wedding venue and I started off sorting out the empty bottles into the correct branded crates on a Sunday morning, all for the princely sum of £2. From then I have always had a paid job of some kind, be it delivering papers before school, filling supermarket shelves after school etc.