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As a member of the BBC’s Audience Data team, James' role is to work alongside his colleagues to deliver software that the BBC depends upon, to provide an enhanced, data-driven experience for its online audience. He works with many other teams and stakeholders, both internal and external, ingesting large amounts of user data before providing it to teams involved with analysis. This data then makes its way to our audience-facing services — such as iPlayer and Sounds — to provide a personalised experience to users that recommends a selection of programmes and other content.

James has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Prior to James starting at the BBC he spent a lot of time researching Apprenticeships, talking to other people within the business to become familiarised with the working environment and prepared for studying and work life balance.  The support network at the BBC has helped James embed himself into his role and juggle the learning and work side. He has formed good working relationships with his team members and his line manager has supported his specific work needs.

Since starting his apprenticeship, James has made great progress with his academic studies at the Open University on the Digital Technology Solutions course. He has already received two distinctions in his first year of study out of four completed modules, and high grades across the board for his assignments. James has shown a fantastic aptitude to put to use his academic learning during his on-the-job work too, particularly the practical programming modules and the legal and ethical content regarding the handling of personal data, both of which tied in well to his work on the Subject Access Request (SAR) server.

James quickly became a key player in the successful deployment of the important public-facing service that ensures the BBC’s compliance with data protection laws. He is now leading the development of a new data reconciliation pipeline that reduces data discrepancies. This work has included James independently writing the code necessary to connect to remote databases and perform SQL queries.

The various technologies James is now proficient in, after just over a year on his apprenticeship, has helped him to become a more well-rounded software engineer and has subsequently enabled him to make increasingly larger contributions to projects his team are working on, and lead to him being the main contributor on the teams latest project.

Outside of his team, James has also been extremely professional, representing the BBC as an ambassador by attending outreach events and meeting potential candidates who are considering their career routes on the same or similar digital and data apprenticeship schemes.

When speaking of his experience on his apprenticeship, James said "I feel I have made the best choice in an apprenticeship at the BBC. My professional skills and academic knowledge have thrived significantly: I am now a key player in the successful deployment of an important public-facing service that ensures the BBC’s compliance with data protection laws, and I am now leading the development of a new data reconciliation pipeline that contributes to my team's wider ambitions by reducing data discrepancies. After my apprenticeship, I would love to continue working at the BBC, and perhaps explore other areas of the organisation, such as working in TV production."