For 20-year-old Wengel Latham, working in software development was a goal to strive for from the age of 14, as this was when she first discovered information technology in Year 9 at school.
She said: “In my first IT lesson we began by creating an animated cat which walked in a circle – really basic, but I found I was so interested in this. The concept of automating things really sparked my interest in having a career in this area.”
Wengel, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, completed her A-level studies in the summer of 2019. After her exams she was on the way to applying for an apprenticeship when she spotted an alternative route. She said: “I’d already been accepted for another apprenticeship and was due to start in a month when I heard about the one at Noyantis.”
Based in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Noyantis has over 25 years’ experience of creating software solutions for businesses. They also produce a number of online eCommerce solutions.
Wengel added: “Noyantis offered me an apprenticeship that was more suitable as they had a software developer role - which was a rarity around where I live. Gregg from the college’s apprenticeship team helped me no end, as I was very worried of inconveniencing and letting my new employers down. Gregg was very helpful in this process and my application went well as a result.”
And since then Wengel has enjoyed a fulfilling and varied role. When she is office based, she works alongside three other members of staff.
Wengel said: “It’s such a varied workload at Noyantis. The company offers clients bespoke business applications and a myriad of other products. On a typical day, I work with my team to push out updates for these applications.
“This involves working on tasks for a given app that we have previously prioritised at our weekly team meeting. These tasks can be anything from bug fixes to testing new features that our clients have requested, either at a previous client meeting or through emails and phonecalls.”
Noyantis’ operations manager Wendy Wilton said: “Straight from interview stage we knew Wengel was going to be a ‘winner’ - her enthusiasm and passion were visible from the beginning. Wengel brought a working application, which she had completed in her spare time along to her interview, along with the research and development she completed to enable her to develop the application.
Since joining our team Wengel has committed to her role 100%. She’s a valuable member of the team and a great team player. These lockdown times are hard for us all, however Wengel has managed to remain committed to her role and apprenticeship whilst working from home, she’s a pleasure to have around even via skype!”
Wengel’s study time is carefully planned throughout the working week with her attending college once a week, which is online in the current circumstances and she’s really blossoming in terms of her studies and career.
She said: “On this apprenticeship I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to learn, experience and progress in the world of software development - all without the cost of a four-year computer science degree hanging over my head.
“My job, supplemented with my software development course at West Notts College, has given me the confidence to code and problem-solve both individually and as a team, and every day I'm learning new things about what it means to be a developer.”
Wengel is regularly supported by her tutor to ensure she’s progressing as planned on the assignment modules which make up the apprenticeship. She added: “I still can’t believe that I’m in a position where I do what I enjoy and that I get paid for it! Through the incredible support from both my employers and my tutor, I’ve progressed both as a software developer and personally on this apprenticeship and it’s absolutely invaluable.”