Franco’s story: The transformational power of Tech Returners

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Tech Returners isn’t just a coding refresher programme. It’s an unique opportunity for individuals seeking to relaunch their tech careers and, in many cases, turn their lives around. 

Not many people exemplify the personal impact of Tech Returners more than Franco, one of our talented returners from 2022. His journey is one of growth and perseverance, culminating in his current role as a software engineer at On the Beach – where he is thriving. 

Franco’s return to tech showcases the potential for individuals to rediscover and develop their careers and lives, with a little help from our amazing team and award-winning programme.

“Tech Returners was more fun and engaging than I could’ve anticipated, and I can see significant improvements in both my technical and soft skills as a result.”

Before the break

Pre-career break, Franco worked at a start-up in the oil and gas inspection sector. He found himself as pretty much the sole developer in a small tech team, working alongside the tech lead and the CTO. This naturally led to a feeling of isolation and a lack of collaboration, and seeking assistance or mentorship was a tough task. 

Then, Franco’s father passed away suddenly, leaving him emotionally drained and unable to focus on his work.

Recognising the need to step away and prioritise, Franco quit his job. He took a career break to grieve and attend to his family’s needs, travelling to Hong Kong to manage his father’s affairs. Upon returning to the UK, and beginning to process what had happened, Franco realised it was time for a fresh start in his career. That’s when Tech Returners entered the picture.

Turning things around with Tech Returners

Upon discovering the programme, the ‘too good to be true’ thoughts came thick and fast. 

“First of all, this programme – free? Always sounds too good to be true right, how could it be free? Then James and Beckie talked about how it’s sponsored. It all lines up. It’s like a win-win situation in that sense.”

At Tech Returners, we don’t teach people to code, we simply refresh their existing skills and bring them up to date with modern frameworks and ways of working. Aside from the hands-on coding, what a lot of our returners are pleasantly surprised by is the Career & Mindset (C&M) side of the programme, which often teaches people a lot about themselves. We introduce people to concepts like adopting a growth mindset, and framing their career break in a positive way in terms of the transferable skills many returners gain during the time away.

“I really enjoyed the C&M sessions. Every single one of them was teaching me new stuff that I didn’t know about, so it was amazing.”

While securing the job post-programme wasn’t his sole focus, Franco was intrigued by the way our C&M team prepared the cohort for not only the final interview, but other potential interviews in the future. At Tech Returners, our main goal is to get as many experienced engineers back into the industry as possible. Our team pulls out all the stops to make sure our Returners are confident, prepared, and empowered for those upcoming job interviews. Many people who complete the course report that the Career & Mindset aspect was the game changer for them, even more so than the tech.

Talking of benefits, what would Franco consider the best thing about completing the Tech Returners programme?

In a word: collaboration!

For Franco, the most significant benefit was the opportunity for collaboration, and working every day alongside like-minded returners. Coming from a previous role where he was the sole developer, coding alongside peers was a transformative experience. Collaborative learning and hands-on projects rekindled his creativity and problem-solving abilities.

“I think collaboration is number one for me, because in my previous job I was the only one. Collab? There’s no collab. With the course, you get hands-on collaboration. Without that, I probably wouldn’t have enrolled.”

Franco’s current role at On the Beach:

Franco is now a backend engineer for the hotels team at On the Beach. His typical day involves stand-ups and working in pairs, providing ample opportunities for collaborative work and feedback. He’s providing immense value to his team as a talented coder but more importantly as an individual with an attitude that’s second to none, and you can tell from the way he speaks about his experience.

“Returners have that enthusiasm that new coders will have, but they have the experience as well.”

This blend of passion and knowledge has enabled Franco to excel in his role and thrive in the dynamic environment at On the Beach. It’s the type of success story that we see with so many of our returners once they’re back in role.

Follow in Franco’s footsteps

Tech Returners exists to offer an accessible route back to the tech industry, but Franco’s story is a testament to its wider transformative potential. We take so much pride in seeing returners change their lives around, and blossom into confident and enthusiastic software engineers on the programme, right before our eyes.

Wondering how you could follow in Franco’s footsteps? Tech Returners offers a free opportunity to relaunch your careers and gain the skills and confidence needed to succeed in the modern tech world. We offer courses all year round, whether they are government-funded or sponsored by a business. 

Don’t miss the chance to revitalise your career and join a community of enthusiastic, experienced returners. Take that first step towards a new and exciting career now: apply for our November programme!

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Feeling inspired? If you'd like to start your return to tech, check out our Programmes page. If you're a business looking to hire amazing Returners, check out the Businesses page. Or if you've got a question for the team, don't hesitate to get in touch!

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