Pete Schofield, Director of IT Development, Test & Operations, HMRC
By Pete Schofield, Director of IT Development, Test & Operations, HMRC
I first became interested in technology when I was 21 years old at college where I used a programming language called Basic in my business studies degree. The marketing and finance parts of my degree didn’t grab me, but I was good at playing with a computer and it struck me just how much easier technology made things.
My first job was as a trainee Cobol language programmer on huge mainframe computers in the financial services industry back in the mid-1980s. Believe it or not, I had to write my code on A3 sheets of ‘graph paper’, one character per box with a pencil, and submit it to my boss for checking. They were typically about 200-250 lines long and had to be character perfect and pass within two goes.
Thankfully programming has moved on a bit since then. But this early experience certainly stood me in good stead. I’d say one of the best things about a tech career is that it encompasses such a huge range of roles.
As my career has progressed I’ve had the opportunity to develop new skills and try my hand at many of them. These include: analyst programmer, application support engineer, tester and test manager, project leader, release manager, help desk manager, programme manager, account manager, infrastructure delivery manager, IT operations director, and service management director.
I’ve also been lucky enough to experience corporate life in some great organisations – The Prudential, NatWest and RBS, Sky TV, Carphone Warehouse and M&S, to name just a few.
I am currently an IT director in HM Revenue & Customs, where I oversee the building and running of one of Europe’s largest and most complex IT estates. I feel privileged to have the chance to work in the Civil Service. I get to help millions of people in the UK every single day by bringing technology into their lives and making it easier, while helping to bring in money the country needs for things like schools and hospitals.