Sainsbury’s: From Shop Floor to Apprentice Developer

Meet Bradley, he turned his passion for coding into his career as Software Developer.

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Bradley Reed - Apprentice Software Developer, Sainsbury’s

I started in store at Sainsbury’s when I was 16, just working around studying for my A levels. One day when I was working I saw an article in our internal magazine about apprenticeships. At that point I had plans to go to university but decided in the end to apply anyway. When I was offered a place on the apprenticeship, I was really torn with what to do, all my friends were going to uni but I decided it would be better to get some hands on experience straight away and went for it. Now two years down the line I’ve just secured a role as a Software Developer and I’m so glad I went for that apprenticeship. I’ve got mates at university who are still studying software development, and it’s all theory based, I’ve had the opportunity to learn on the job and put it all into practice straight away which is awesome.

There’s some apprentices who started with me who had no experience at all, it was their first time ever coding and they’re being taught from the ground up. I like that, working somewhere that’s investing in people at all stages.

I’ve never felt like an apprentice, I’m treated like a member of the team with lots of value to add. I get to meet loads of clued up people every day who have been working in the industry for years, and they’ve always got great advice to give. I’ve been networking and been taken to MeetUps, everyone is really friendly and always looking for ways to get you involved and develop, it’s super supportive in that sense.

I’d advise anyone to think of looking at apprenticeships when they’re deciding which way to take their career, it’s a great opportunity to get some real hands-on experience and be paid while you’re learning, plus you might get to work on some really cool projects. Like at the moment I’m helping to build an app which will create an entirely new way of shopping and be used by thousands of people, if I’d gone a different route I might not get chance to do that for years, and that’s really cool!

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