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Two Minutes with Carl Sharman – Head of Software Development

Carl Sharman, Head of Software Development, joined us to discuss a career in Software Development at United Learning

With over 80 schools, three central offices and numerous field-working positions across the country, United Learning offers a variety of career opportunities with plenty of room to grow and develop in your role with us.

Read on for our first 'Two Minutes with...' session.                                                  

Hi Carl! Thanks for joining us!

Hello, thanks for having me.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career so far.

I’m Carl Sharman, Head of Software Development at United Learning. I’ve been in Software Development since 1992, so thirty years now. I’m from Northamptonshire and love to read, meditate, and walk my two lovely Cockapoos.

How long have you been with United Learning?

I’ve been with United Learning for 11 years, my longest position to date.

Wow, that’s impressive! What do you enjoy the most about working here that has kept you with us for so long?

For me, it is the sense that I am doing something that has purpose. Instead of just working in a corporate world every single day, I know that the work we do in our team positively impacts the lives of young people. I end the day feeling like I’ve done something good.

How would you describe your team?

I would say, even if sounding a little biased, that the team are a really great bunch of people. They’re hard working, and we get along extremely well which is important with such a wide array of tasks to collaborate on. The team are highly specialist with lots of different skills, and everyone has their own expert knowledge that brings something unique to the working dynamic. There is a great sense of trust to let the team get on and do their thing, which I’m certainly grateful for.

What are the biggest challenges of working in software development and how do you overcome those?

Software developers are notoriously obsessed with tools and technology; that is what we do after all!  While these things really matter, in my experience the biggest factor in creating great software is our relationships with the people commissioning it. You can write the most elegant software in the world, with the best tech behind it, but if somebody misunderstood the requirements then it won't be much use.

As a Software Developer you have to take an idea that is in somebody's head and make it into a piece of software, and that process can be difficult. Trying to understand others to the level of detail that they need is our number one priority, so being friendly and approachable in order to build those relationships is of high importance. It all comes down to listening, paying attention, and not making assumptions, which I’m glad to say the team here at United Learning do exceptionally well.

What would you say to those looking to begin a career in Software Development at United Learning?

In my experience you’ll have an incredible opportunity to work with lots of fantastic tech. But, beyond that, you can finish every day knowing you’ve done something great.

Thank you to Carl for joining us.

If you’re interested in a career at United Learning, you can find out more and view our current vacancies here: Careers

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