Skip to main content

Hi, I'm Ashley.

Software Developer in Defence Consulting, Manchester

Read it, like it, share it...

My journey so far…

Growing up in Manchester with my parents and younger brothers, I always wanted to be a role model for my siblings. After school I went to university in Sheffield to study business before starting a career in recruitment, where I helped software developers into defence roles. It made me realise that was exactly what I wanted to do. My Grandad was in the army too, so I’ve been interested in the military from a young age. I felt the jobs they were doing were solving real world problems, while helping to serve and protect the country.

Before then, I’d had a stereotype of software developers in my head, and I never thought I’d be smart enough to do it. But speaking to them gave me the confidence to change track and do something I really loved. After my eureka moment, I left recruitment and took an MSc in computer science. When I graduated I worked for some other firms in software development, before joining Deloitte.

Balancing family life with my career is important to me, as well as working on projects where I’m making a difference to society.

Work that matters

I develop software for defence clients in the public sector, helping them to improve services and better protect the UK. One example of a project I’ve worked on was where I developed a tool that gives clients the ability to build their own apps and automate business processes. We take a collaborative approach to our work and there’s a real sense of community in our team in Manchester. The job comes with a sense of service and mission, which gives me pride in what I do.

Outside of my main role, I’ve had opportunities to support the wider community, both inside and outside Deloitte. For example, I recently went back to my old university to talk about my work and inspire other students. I’m also father to a little girl, and I’m part of a digital parenting group that connects people across the firm. We support each other through events and meet ups, to discuss some of the challenges of being a working parent and how we overcome them.

Highlights from my week

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
I travel to London to see my project team in person and discuss upcoming release plans for the application we’ve been working on. After work we go for a team game of mini golf.
I have stayed over in London, so I make the most of being in the office and schedule some face-to-face meetings to learn more about other interesting projects at Deloitte. After work I head back to Manchester.
I head to the Manchester office for a ‘developer day’. This means I’ve got no scheduled meetings and can focus all my energy on developing new features for my client.
I’m doing some coding work from home today, while my parents look after my daughter. I get to take her to the swings at lunchtime which we both really enjoy. 
I kickstart the day with the Engineering Breakfast Club, which is held at the Manchester office. We get food delivered while catching up on the latest engineering trends. I spend the afternoon catching up on my emails before heading home to spend the weekend with my family.

My weekend looks like

I play five-a-side football once a week, and sometimes golf at the weekends. I also really enjoy going for walks with my family and taking my daughter and niece to different activities, like safaris, zoos, parks and National Trust sites. We love food, eating out and we travel whenever we can.

3 things I've learned

Be Kind and Respectful

I’ve found that if you’re kind and respectful, life has a funny way of looking after you. It certainly is the culture at Deloitte, and it creates a safe environment to risk failure, as well as helping you to build a wide network with different parts of the business.

Be Inquisitive

I like to ask questions about how and why something works to help me learn. Opening myself up to ways a solution could be better helps me build up an arsenal of knowledge and experience to tackle the next problem.

Be Optimistic

The infinite belief that something can be better has always been a big driver for me. I’ve learnt the importance of staying optimistic for the best outcome. There’s always more than one way to solve any problem and it doesn’t have to be perfect first time.

Did you find this useful?

Thanks for your feedback

If you would like to help improve further, please complete a 3-minute survey

Ashley's book recommendation

Grit: The power of passion and perseverance by Angela Duckworth

This book shows people that effort can be more important that talent when it comes to doing well in life, which I feel is an important lesson. It focuses on hard work, passion, perseverance and ‘grit’ as the core factors for success. I love the idea of finding your ‘calling in life’ and making small improvements each day by putting in a little extra effort. It’s also a great way to battle imposter syndrome, which many people can experience.