meet the trainer len

Meet the Trainer: Len Shand

Meet Len, Head of Digital Training at The Specialists Hub. Len’s multitude of years in the industry, alongside a genuine passion and a good sense of humour creates the components of our great trainer.

cartoon len

Fun Facts about Len:

· When he’s not in the office he will always be wearing shorts.

· He loves his barbecue and his dog.

· He likes fun stuff, defined by the man himself as barge holidays, travel, barbecues and a generous glass of whisky.

· He is only 26 years old but has had a hard life.

What first drew you to the cyber security industry?

I studied Computer Forensics at Glamorgan Uni as this was the first course of its kind in the UK. Having had over 15 years in computing already, things, although they were advancing, were still all much of a sameness. Networks were still networks, building machines had the same components, I needed a change.

Why do you like the cyber industry?

This is such a changeable field. Every day is different, and you are faced with new challenges daily. Also, the speed at which these changes happen is extraordinary.

How/where did you start out in the industry?

I started out in telecommunications, branched out into electronics and got involved in power systems for computer equipment. It was while I was in the postal sorting department that I first had to get involved in reprogramming a destination for the mail. I was hooked by this and bought my first computer, a Commodore 64 in 1984.

What are the most common mistakes you see people make when trying to break into the cyber industry and how do you suggest they combat them?

Probably the biggest mistake is saying “I want to do cyber”. The cyber industry field has many specialisms so one needs to have an idea of what it is you want to do. The second mistake is not knowing the fundamentals of computing: networking, a bit of programming, operating systems, and hardware.

What are your main tips for apprentices approaching EPA (End Point Assessment)?

If you have not already done so, take ownership of a project or two at work. Own it. Complete it. Ensure you are not just completing competencies because you have to. Get a story: how did this particular job come about why you did it, how did you do it, who did you collaborate and liaise with, what was the outcome and what did you learn along the way.

Best piece of cyber career advice?

Eat drink, sleep computers. Love what you do and do it with such passion that anyone who meets you, knows what your passion is.


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