Rob Arlow

Joining the world of technology


The world of IT and Digital has become one of the fastest growing industries, and more adults are finding an area of interest within it. There are hundreds of opportunities in tech careers which is why this is one of the best sectors to get into. Robert Arlow, former-trainee on our Development Programme shares his story by telling us how he became a Programmer in the Project Team at Gentrack.

How did you first hear about Just IT?

My dad’s colleague who does electrical recruiting recommended the Recruitment Agency at Just IT, but I saw the training course and decided to go with that.

What was your background before joining Just IT?

I had just finished my Physics degree and realised that I wanted to go into programming, but I didn’t have enough experience to pursue a career within it. I wanted to go with physics initially, but we had a few programming modules in university which I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, by that time it was too late to do a Computer Science degree. I did start to have a look at events such as Codecademy to get some learning behind me, but I thought something more in-depth and structured would be better.

How did you find the Just IT Course?

I enjoyed the course. I took a bit longer on it than I should have, but that was down to my own progression. I learnt loads of different computer languages; I was mainly focused around back-end programming such as C# and Java. I liked doing Java and it was really good working on frequent mini projects. I thought making a portfolio and making a website was great.

There were lots of projects during the course, and once you got to a certain point with the portfolio that’s when you would start looking for a job. I started to look for work while I was doing my portfolio and other areas of the training course.

Where was your first role?

My first role was at Gentrack, they have an extensive history of developing, implementing and support its speciality software for energy utilities, water companies and airports. I was a Programmer and I used to fix clients’ programmes if they went wrong. Now I have moved onto the Projects Team where I develop new functionalities for clients.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I would like to have more responsibility in the future, whether that’s here or in another role. I would like to do more programming as it’s something I enjoy – I am still improving my own portfolio in my spare time and I also do other bits of programming for fun.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced since working?

I think working for Gentrack and learning their very own computer language has been one of the hardest things I have had to do. They use a variation of languages, it was difficult in the beginning, but now I am much better. I just faced the challenge and built my own knowledge.

What would you recommend to someone who was looking to start a career in IT?

I would definitely suggest getting your portfolio done and do projects that you find fun. If you’re genuinely interested in something, then you will put more effort into it.