Dale Titcombe

Dale TitcombeLearn from your peers: career advice from top professionals in the IT industry

We spoke to IT professionals across the industry, from IT directors to specialist recruitment consultants, about the advice they would give to individuals looking to enhance and further their IT career. Among other tips, they highlighted the importance of a good plan of action, always being adaptable, and a lot of soul searching.

Our second interviewee in our career advice series is Dale Titcombe, Head of Application Development at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. We spoke to Dale about the importance of adaptability and professional learning, and his advice for those looking to make the move from an IT support role.

Dale started his IT career on an IT support helpdesk in the late 90s. He moved on to data analysis and then software development. He’s now Head of Application Development at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Since working at BCS he has implemented Scrum into the organisation - and this has now become the company’s method of choice for software development.

He underlines the importance of adaptability for individuals looking to further their IT career: “It is very easy to pigeon hole yourself with a specific set of skills and this means you can miss out on opportunities to show your potential. My advice would be to put yourself out there, take on new challenges, even if they aren’t strictly within your role’s remit.”

He highlights career mapping as an important tool for anyone who doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed: “Plotting how you want your career to go is very important. Speak to others and find out how they got to where they are. Any mentoring you can access - whether it is official or unofficial - can be invaluable.”

Dale’s advice for anyone who wants to make the move from an IT support role to something more specialised is to choose something that you have a genuine interest in, even if it isn’t an area you’ve touched on professionally: “I’ve interviewed more junior people before and they perhaps haven’t had a lot of experience, but the stand-out candidates have a real passion for the concept and have obviously researched it, and want to talk about it, and have a conversation about it.”

Dale talks about making a commitment to continual learning, something which is especially important in a fast moving industry like IT: “You need to put aside time for continued personal development. Of course, certifications in Agile methods and Scrum are important but having some foundation skills in things that aren’t perhaps in your defined role can be useful as well - foundation skills in Project Management for example might open up other doors.”

As an IT professional you can manage your future learning and access resources for free through the BCS Personal Development Plan.