In our spotlight series, we showcase and celebrate our students! Zoe was a student from our inaugural cohort, after a long and successful career in the dental industry, Zoe made the choice to study software engineering as a new career after helping her daughter with some school work!

OS – What are your key achievements before coming into code?

ZS – My key achievements were mainly based on my previous role as a Dental Compliance Manager. I started as a trainee dental nurse 18 years ago, I then became a qualified dental nurse working my way up to Compliance Manager of 32 dental practices. I also have 2 daughters, aged 10 and 14. 

OS – When did you decide to become software engineer?

ZS – 3 years ago, unfortunately, my health seriously deteriorated to the point of having to leave employment. Luckily about 12 months ago I was told I could start building back up to employment but I had lost my passion for the dental industry. One week in March 2020 whilst I was helping my eldest daughter with her Computer Science homework, I found myself really enjoying it! So, I decided to invest in a few books and ended up learning how to code.

OS – What is the best and worst thing about studying software engineering? 

ZS – The best thing is the moment when you realise what you have developed works. The feeling is immense, especially when you have only just started learning this profession. The worst thing is trying to figure out the tiny detail you have mistakenly inputted incorrectly that stops everything from working.

OS – What role do you see yourself fulfilling in 5 years’ time?

ZS – I would hope to be in an I.T role; maybe 2nd line support. I am also developing a website based around my disability which will hopefully help others like me realise they CAN fulfil their destiny.

OS – What would be your ideal development job?

ZS – My ideal development job would be helping to develop future health apps for the disabled or for the CQC.

OS – What value have you found on the DEEPer program?

ZS – The team who deliver the course have been so attentive and helpful, it made learning so much more fun. You also have a 1-2-1 mentor and an employment advisor who has definitely given me the confidence boost I needed.

OS – What projects have you been working on?

ZS – I am currently developing a website based on my experiences with different health issues. I am currently in contact with a company I am hoping to work alongside so unfortunately cannot screenshot anything at the moment. On top of that I have now also started my 2nd Line I.T Support Course.

Zoe has completed the Digital Engineering Education Programme and is ready to progress her career into Software Development. DEEPer was established to fill the Digital Skills gap in Lancashire; equipping students like Zoe with the skills and knowledge that employers need. If you would like to find out more about the programme and discuss any opportunities you may be able to offer our students, please contact Gaby (