Tuition and that whole "long term unemployed" thing

"I want to provide training and employment for the long term unemployed. Giving them the skills to work as web developers."

I spoke that sentence out loud in July 2010, and it soon grew into an idea I couldn't ignore.

So in September 2010 I left my very secure and well-paid job with a successful web design company to pursue a crazy idea job and started Open Door Internet Limited (now Sonder Digital) to support that vision.

Between September 2010 and October 2012, I worked with 7 people, all of whom were long term unemployed, and provided one-to-one training and mentoring. On average the trainees had one 2 hour training session every other week, but toward the end of my time in Yeovil several were having training sessions weekly.

We covered HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, Javascript, DNS and the structure of the internet, server setups, SSH, the use of Inkscape for vector-based design, basics of branding, quoting for new jobs, using an IDE, repository control, business concepts, specification writing, client communication, English grammar, and more.

During this time I volunteered a huge proportion of my working time towards these volunteers and worked on commercial projects for the remainder of my time to support the scheme.

When I moved house in October 2012 I largely wrapped up the training in Yeovil, although I'm still closely in touch with many of the trainees, and still employ one of them.

The project will relaunch in Watchet and Williton soon, but I'm currently taking some much needed time to reflect, assess, and prepare.

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