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Meet a Mentor: Matthew Shorten

Written by Tim Smith

Tech Educators Mentor Matthew Shorten

As we head into the new year, with new cohorts, we caught up with one of our new additions to the mentoring team, CTO at Norwich based Little Green Button, on his background in tech, why he chose to become a mentor and advice he can give from throughout his career.

Our Full Stack Coding Bootcamps partner students with real world developers to support in their progression from junior developer, to in-career coder.

Let's see what Matthew had to say.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got into a career in tech?

I started working with computers way way back. Straight out of school I started as a "Computer Operator" in a corporate with IBM mainframes. While working, I studied with the Open University, gaining a degree in IT & Computing. But to be honest, my software development skills were honed by learning from the teams around me.

My very first commercial programming experience (early 90s) was with COBOL but I've picked up Modula2, Pascal, Delphi, .Net and Javascript along the way. I've worked in many teams, roles and sectors since and seen (and survived) much change.

Working right now as a CTO, I've also been at times a tester, BA, Scrum Master and team lead but at the core, I identify as a developer.

What made you decide you wanted to give up your time to be a mentor?

Whenever I've worked with graduates (both from universities and coding bootcamps) their ambition, enthusiasm and fearlessness has been inspiring. If I can give some advice that helps a graduate succeed along their chosen career path then I can't think of anything more rewarding.

What advice were you given early in your career that has stuck with you?

I'm not sure there's one thing that stands out as a real gem. But what I've observed from leaders that inspired me most is that hard work and a can-do attitude brings with it a lot of success. Corny, but true. One other thing - listen to those around you ... then make up your own mind.

What do you think you can bring to mentoring the next generation of tech talent?

I'm excited to hear what questions the graduates want to ask! Maybe it will be about interview prep? Or fitting in with a team? Regardless, I'm looking forward to supporting the Tech Educators graduates and hope I can help them build the confidence to put their new found abilities to great use.

To see if coding is for you, you can try our introduction to coding bootcamp - with our cohorts and student numbers constantly growing, we are always looking for new mentors. Please contact Tech Educators if this is something you are interested in.

About the Author

Tim is the course director at Tech Educators and brings with him almost a decade of experience working in various tech sectors, as well as the added benefit of being an alumni to a Full Stack Bootcamp.

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