This is our 3rd event focusing on careers as well as in diversity and inclusion in tech. Want to learn about alternative paths as well as what can you do to make a difference? Please welcome our speakers Josh Rolland and Lianne Potter that have each prepared a talk below.


Josh Rolland, Junior Java Developer at Metro Bank, London
Liane Potter, Aspiring Tech CEO - Award-Winning Software Developer & Certified Cyber Security Evangelist at NHS Digital on the Grad scheme


17:30 – Refreshments and networking
18:30 – Presentations
19:30 – Close


The life-changing opportunity to leave prison as a Software Developer

The general consensus is that a prison is a bad place full of bad people. The first part of the statement is largely true, the latter somewhat of a misconception.

A prison is a bad place full of deprived people. There are very few opportunities for the average prisoner to turn their life around and a necessity for our prison system and prison education programs to address this problem. Being in desirable employment is all it will take for a large percentage of our 83,000 prisoners to stop reoffending.

This talk is about something which actually has the potential to make a difference to two socio-economic problems in the UK; the rate of reoffending prisoners and the inadequate supply of software developers.

Code 4000 is a prison-based program which equips inmates with the necessary opportunities to be released into quality employment within the tech industry.

Developer-ing your team: Unlocking the code for a successful cross-functional workforce

The department for Business Innovation and Skills said that 'digital literacy should be seen as a core skill alongside English and Maths.' We can see evidence of this in our schools in which primary school-aged children are now learning to code alongside the traditional subjects and the prevalence of code clubs amongst children. This drive to teach digital skills is fantastic but for those of us in business, we recognise the need to address the digital skills gap NOW, not in a few decades.

Developer-ing your team demonstrates the benefits of hosting internal code clubs for your team through creating a digital literacy benchmark for non-technical staff. This talk is about how NHS Digital implemented their first code club, how it impacted those who participated and how it can help you develop your employees into a more successful cross-functional workforce and give you the competitive edge in this new digital landscape.  By striving for a digital literacy benchmark in your organisation, you will have a workforce who is engaged, better at collaborating, more creative in their thinking, better innovators and, crucially more diverse – allowing you to make better products and services that represent a wider proportion of society. Best of all, it only really costs time. This is the story of the NHS Digital code club, and why you should do it too.

Note: My thoughts are my own and are not representative of NHS Digital


Josh Rolland
Josh is a former prisoner who while in custody engaged in an initiative which teaches inmates to code: Code 4000.

As a result of his hard work and competence, the scheme was able to look for employment opportunities for Josh ahead of his release. This has led to Josh starting work as a Junior Java Developer at Metro Bank in Central London exactly one week after being released from prison earlier this year.

Because of his back story, he is very aware of the potential for tech talent to be found from all walks of life and with a range of backgrounds. As well as the talent in general which exists within the UK prison system. Josh wants to make people aware of the positive impact of Code 4000 in order to generate new stakeholders and employment opportunities for other ex-prisoners going forward.

Liane Potter
Lianne is a self-taught software developer who was inspired to retrain into the exciting world of tech following a career change as a project lead in a wide variety of industries from private, governmental & the third sector.

Lianne is currently employed in the graduate scheme at NHS Digital at NHS.UK, the UK’s biggest health website.

Passionate about encouraging others to consider a career in tech from non-technical, or underrepresented backgrounds, Lianne seeks to find ways to remove barriers in tech.
As a public speaker, Lianne is a role model for non-traditional technical routes into the industry & raises awareness of tech inequalities.

She developed a passion for tech equality while working for a charity crisis project where she witnessed first-hand a digital divide for those accessing online services & wide-spread digital literacy gaps. This went on to inform her Masters in Anthropology where she formally researched this issue.

Lianne is a firm believer in action & organises successful code clubs for non-technical NHS Digital staff to support digital inclusion across the organisation. Lianne is an active member of the NHS Digital Women’s network. Through this network, she is currently working on an action plan to address her organisation’s gender pay gap.

This work has been acknowledged in three award categories: Bringing Learning to Life (finalist), The Embracing Diversity Award (nominated) & Rookie of the Year (winner).

Lianne is also an entrepreneur running a successful award-winning, international wedding photography business for the last nine years with her husband.


For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS does not issue invitation letters.


BCS South Yorkshire Branch

Diversity and Inclusion in Tech - South Yorkshire Branch
Date and time
Thursday 19 September, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Sheffield Hallam University
Room 9130
Cantor Building
S1 1ND
This event is sold out