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When Andy Charlesworth left school at 18 he did not know what to do with his life.

Andy Charlesworth: from hospital wards to software developer, this former nurse is a great role model for career changers
Andy Charlesworth: from hospital wards to software developer, this former nurse is a great role model for career changers

His mother helped him find a job as a support worker at the local hospital. Within a few years, he gained some qualifications and was working as a charge nurse managing wards. While it was great to be part of a busy NHS team, he had a nagging feeling he didn’t want to do this for the rest of his life and took the brave step to change careers.

As a child Andy had loved playing with computers and decided to pursue his passion, first completing an access to higher education diploma at The Sheffield College and then winning a place at the University of Sheffield to study computer science. During his degree, he spent a year in industry working at WANdisco and has now been offered a full-time job as a developer at the data activation software company, starting this summer.

From caring to coding

Andy’s story illustrates the sometimes unconventional route that people can take into the technology industry. He said: “I was good at nursing but I always felt I was jumping through hoops. As soon as I started university I would arrive at 7am every day and had my head in computers and coding. I loved the challenge and it made me realise I definitely want to do this for the rest of my career.

“Working on hospital wards taught me the importance of team spirit and I learned how to keep my head above water in fast-moving situations. It is the same working in engineering teams because you are all working towards the same goal. On the ward, you had to keep the patient safe and stable and either discharge them or get them to where they needed to be. It’s a collective effort and a joint result.”

Andy is 36 and has young children to support. Outside work, he enjoys spending time with his family as well as running and bouldering. He has no regrets about his career change and would encourage others to follow suit. He said: “If there is any time to use a passion for computing, it is now. The industry is only getting bigger. It can be a hard process but it is doable if you have a plan. Life is not all about a career, but it is a big part of it.”

Find work – or your money back!

EyUp is recruiting for its third cohort to start in September 2022. Eight places are available, including two places funded by a bursary scheme for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or who are under-represented in the tech sector. EyUp offers a money-back pledge for any graduates who complete the course and fail to land a tech job within six months. Every graduate from the first cohort has found work.

EyUp founder David Richards, the co-founder, CEO and chairman of WANdisco plc, said: “Tech employers are crying out for people of all ages and backgrounds who have the aptitude to become software developers. We are delighted that Andy is joining us after he made a great impression during his sandwich year and subsequent work for our company. He is living proof that you can achieve your dreams and will be an inspiring role model for other people who want to enter our industry and build rewarding careers for themselves.”

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