I left university in the 2002 and up to that point my academic life was mapped out… GCSEs done, then onto my A-Levels then onto my degree. Next step – walk into an ICT job…Nope! I must have applied for over 50 ICT jobs in a variety of companies and thought my CV was attractive with good qualifications and work experience during my summer holidays (at the expense of a boys’ holiday to Ibiza!)
I applied for a job with Torfaen Council – the role was Asset & Planning Officer and I didn’t have a clue what that meant – but in the advert it mentioned databases and systems.
I was fortunate my role allowed me to have interactions with all aspect of the housing service which gave me a true appreciation of the services we offer to our customers.
I thought our function was solely bricks and mortar. We have houses and we need people to occupy them. I was wrong! As I moved into various roles, my housing knowledge increased and I became passionate in improving services; making things easier, implementing housing systems and running reports and automating tasks.
Fast forward 17 years, 11 with Bron Afon and I am still here as the ICT Operations and Development Manager and am very proud of my own personal journey but equally that of colleagues in Torfaen Housing Department and Bron Afon.
The ICT team here are the best bunch of people I can say I have worked with. The skills they have allow us to meet the needs of both our internal customers and external customers. I can honestly say that our continuous development plan as a ICT service and meeting the needs of Bron Afon is the reason why I come to work.
To meet the needs of our business we decided to develop our own software after realising the sector’s software was stale and would deny our business from offering the services to our customers, or more importantly reacting to the fast passed environment housing belongs to. For example, welfare reform.
As a service we were able to develop our own module after gathering the requirements within eight weeks, comparing that to sector software that would translate to one or more years.
We all have a personal stake in housing and what makes Bron Afon different is that we’re able to see the difference we make to the individuals we serve.