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Richard Eldridge

Richard Eldridge
Course studied:
Psychology and Criminology
Year of graduation:

Criminology to computing

Richard Eldridge has gone from criminal psychology to computing to banking – now working at RBS in London and building a smartphone revision app in his spare time.

He completed both a Psychology and Criminology undergraduate degree and attained a Computing for Business postgraduate diploma from Staffordshire University. Seemingly unrelated, Richard says there is crossover between the two, with elements of psychology incorporated into computing for business studies.

“When I signed up to the postgraduate course at Staffordshire University, I wanted something to bridge the gap from what I had learned already in my undergrad degree,” he recalled. “I saw a connection between how people interacted with each other and computers, and part of my studies covered how technology could be integrated into a business to improve it.”

Banking career

Originally from Milton Keynes, Richard came to Staffordshire University in 2006 following an open day visit. “The Leek Road student accommodation really appealed to me at the time because it seemed a close knit community,” said Richard, who later met his future wife at the Student Union’s LRV venue. He added: “Plus, the psychology department looked great and the criminology course was one of the best in the country at the time.”

During the course, Richard was working at Game in Hanley and was taking an interest in computers. “A friend, who was on the computer games design course in Stafford, had built his own computer and I wanted to do the same. It really interested me and, after graduating, I started exploring my options.”

In 2010 Richard started on his postgraduate diploma and also a training programme with IT service provider FDM. “The training at FDM followed the same structure as a full-time job, with regular office hours and training for different roles. It was unpaid for three months and then I began working for them as a consultant with clients for the next three years. I worked with big financial businesses such as RBS, Barclays and HSBC, as well as smaller and medium sized businesses.”

When a job offer came from RBS in London, Richard jumped at the opportunity and has been with the company, in various teams and roles, for the past four years. He said: “I was a test analyst before I assumed test manager responsibilities. Then I was offered the position of Java developer, which is really awesome because I was able to show my tech skills and aptitude. I’ve been doing that for three years now.”

Smartphone app

While undertaking Java certification, Richard looked for a smartphone revision app to support his studies. “There was nothing available I could revise with on the go, with active exam questions, so we thought it would be a good tool for others,” he explained.

There are currently two versions of the app available on Android devices, with plans for an Apple compatible version in the pipeline. They are called “TestMaster – Java SE7 – OCA” and “TestMaster – Java SE7 – OCP” and cost £1.80 to download.

“The app is Java 7 specific, which is an older version of the platform,” Richard said. “By the time the app was live, in January 2016, the company behind Java, Oracle, had released the next version. But it’s still a useful revision tool. We wrote all the questions and it teaches you about the whole exam. We’ve done a couple of updates and hope to expand on it in future.”