Citrus Suite Are Developing The Next Generation of Developers

Written on: 24 January 2018

Written by: Freya King


[Employers, Apprenticeships, Citrus Suite, employer case study, software developer]

Citrus Suite are developing the next generation of developers through digital apprenticeships. Production Manager, Lynn Donovan, has mentored Software Development Apprentice, Jake Ward, as he progresses in the business, and reaches his full potential as a fully-fledged Software Developer.

He has improved so much that when he finished his Level 3 apprenticeship, Citrus Suite felt that they couldn’t afford to lose him; he is an asset to the company. Lynn found that keeping him on to complete his Level 4 programme made sense, not only for his personal development, but also for the benefit of company.

Jake, who had his first taste of the world of software development when he was still in school, started out doing voluntary work experience at the company. Quickly recognising Jake’s raw potential, Lynn decided to take him on as an apprentice, and they haven’t looked back since.

Liverpool-based Citrus Suite is an award-winning software development company working to create exceptional mobile apps that entertain, engage and empower their users. Clients include Penguin Books, Disney, universities, and NHS Trusts. Fresh talent is vital in this industry, and the next generation of tech dedicated apprentices like Jake are stepping up to bridge the UK’s digital skills gap.

One thing that separates Baltic from other providers is the way that our training is delivered – online. This virtual classroom environment has allowed Jake to remain in the workplace when completing his training weeks, something that Lynn feels has been essential in keeping Jake involved in the atmosphere and general goings-on in the business:

“I think the way Baltic teach as webinars is an excellent way of doing it. What that means for us is that Jake’s not taken away from the office, so even though he is on his webinar he is still surrounded by what’s going on with the projects. It makes it so much easier for him and for us.”

It’s now been 3 years since Jake first came to Citrus Suite, and he’s come a long way. Lynn is confident in his abilities as a developer, and she explained that his day to day duties have completely changed since he started out. He has gone from having a little bit of programming knowledge from school to being able to take a spec for a website and use it to build that website.

With this change in responsibilities comes a massive boost in confidence and Jake is currently working on up to four projects at any one time, liaising with clients along the way.

He has the full support of the tech team and directors, and he has grown along with the business since he first came through the doors in 2014.

Jake himself also feels that staying on to complete the level 4 apprenticeship programme has been beneficial in terms of building up his skills and experience. We asked him to sum up why he chose the apprenticeship route in the first place:

“I thought apprenticeships were a good way to develop your skills and also gain experience in the industry simultaneously. I knew I was going to be happy at Citrus Suite and the idea of being able to work on real life projects while studying and gaining qualifications was something that really appealed to me.”

You can read more about Citrus Suite and the projects they are currently working on here. For more information about how you can recruit an apprentice like Jake click here.

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