Graduate Story: Adrian Rus Restaurants to Mastercard


In our most recent white paper, “A job in software development – where to start?”, we look at the career change journey into software development. As part of the paper, we interviewed some of our graduates who have reskilled on our full-stack programme and who are progressing on their journey in software development. The graduates that we interviewed include Adrian Rus, Kira Estrada, and Simen Daehlin.

Each of these students moved from one career to another. They learned the skills of programming and are now progressing quickly through various roles in software development. Their journeys have brought them on different paths using their programming skills. 

Adrian Rus

The first graduate we spoke to in this series is Adrian Rus. Adrian worked as an Assistant Manager with Nando’s before making the leap into learning how to code. Since then, he has progressed through various roles and is now a Senior Systems Analyst with Mastercard. Below is Adrian’s story. 

In 2015, Adrian was First Assistant Manager at Nando’s after six years at the company. “I had stayed because they’d promoted me several times throughout those years, and I worked with great people and teams, but I reached a point where I wanted to move into something with a better career perspective. I also realized I wasn’t going to learn anything new or interesting; it was just going to be the same routine.

“I also wanted to end shift work.”

Tech had always been a bit of an obsession for Adrian, especially Microsoft. “I was the first in my circle of friends to have a Windows phone and managed to convince 90% of them to also get one.”

His search for a suitable coding course soon led him to Code Institute. “I couldn’t commit to three or four years of college,” he says, “and they also didn’t have the flexibility I needed because I was still working at Nando’s full-time.”

Code Institute Programme

The Code Institute course was online, so it would allow Adrian to set his own pace. He was intrigued enough to attend an open day in Dublin. “What clinched it for me was a presentation by Brian [Brian O’Grady, Code Institute Program Director]. He spoke with such passion. I literally thought: ‘Yes, this is it.’ And I took that leap of faith.”

The biggest challenges for Adrian were planning his time (he’d regularly put in two or three hours of coding before the start of his shift) – and JavaScript. “That was the painful one,” he admits. 

His Code Institute mentor got him through that by providing additional resources, giving him more context, and simply by being at the other end of a Skype call. 

Landing a job

In 2015 the Code Institute was a relative newcomer, and the small startup that interviewed Adrian for his first post was not familiar with the course. “What really helped me was having done the projects. That gave me a lot of confidence. They asked me questions about a technical problem, and that didn’t faze me. I could lead a conversation. I could answer their question.”

He landed the job.

“It wasn’t a lot of coding. The job was more about server configuration, setting up virtual machines, deploying databases and testing the product.”

In 2017 Adrian was hired by Accenture for the role of Software Test Engineering Analyst. “Accenture are consultants, so perhaps less focused on the nitty-gritty of code rather than the systems aspect and the system infrastructure side of IT. But they want you to understand how code works. Again, my Code Institute project portfolios helped me understand the end-to-end development process, and Accenture tested me on that.”

At Accenture, Adrian used the Cucumber testing tool, a framework that was new to him.

“This is an important point to make,” says Adrian. “Code Institute can’t teach you everything, and as you progress in your career, there is always more to learn.”

A BCS Practitioner Certificate for Business Analysis paved the way for the job of Senior Business Analyst at Avanade, a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft, and then the role of Senior Systems Analyst with Mastercard.

“Perhaps the easiest way to describe my job is that I act as a conduit between developers and management. I have a lot of responsibility. If a software release goes wrong, it’s going to be my fault because it’s my job to see to it that DevOps stick to the release schedule, or at least tell me about it if they can’t.”

Adrian’s next goal is to achieve a managerial position at Mastercard.

“That’s what is so interesting,” he says, “with each new role, the goalposts move, and there are new ambitions, new things to learn.”

That passion for learning that Brian O’Grady communicated so powerfully at the Code Institute open day has propelled Adrian a long way in just a few years since he took “that leap of faith”.

Try the free Challenge

If you want to embark on your own coding journey, and if you want to find out more about the steps to making a career change to software development, you can download the white paper here. If you want to learn some of the basics of code for free, then check out our free 5 Day Coding Challenge. Register now through the form below. 

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