Return to Opencast a no-brainer

27 April 2022

I worked at Opencast when I started my developer career and, when the opportunity arose this year to move back to the company, the decision was a no-brainer.

I first worked at Opencast for four years as a developer before deciding to move on. I had joined the company as a brand-new developer and, after being in the role for a few years, I wanted to try something new to gain experience in the wider development industry.  

After a couple of years working for a private organisation, I decided that it was time for another change. Having stayed in touch with friends who still worked for Opencast, I knew the company had been evolving and decided to explore opportunities to return.

I had no concerns about moving back as I know I can trust Opencast – the company had always looked after me and it has only improved during my time away. I knew there were opportunities for me to continue my professional development - growing my career and learning.

Portrait of Nicole Avison.
"I had no concerns about moving back as I know I can trust Opencast – the company had always looked after me and it has only improved during my time away."

Encouraged to learn and grow

Opencast is passionate about people using their time to grow. It uses training and development tools like Pluralsight and has a mentoring and a buddying scheme in place for new starters. All staff can learn through Udemy online courses, where you simply sign up and claim the costs on expenses. 

Opencast has an ambitious plan for how it wants to develop and grow, and everyone is committed to putting people at the core of any plans. I feel I have re-joined Opencast feeling confident that the business is headed in the right direction, and I trust it will keep going this way.

It's bigger!

Opencast is certainly bigger than when I left in 2019. In the three years I worked elsewhere the company has grown from a team of 70 to 270, and it is still expanding every day. I was apprehensive that the growth might have changed the company but it hasn’t. I’m particularly impressed that despite the growth it has kept the same feel that it had when I was here before. 

Not only has the company kept the culture: it has also improved it. It is the same Opencast, just a little bit more polished.  

Other than the size of the company there have been other changes over the past three years, all of which are very positive.  

The new HQ office in Newcastle is phenomenal, alongside the opening of new office hubs in Leeds and London, with Edinburgh to follow in the summer.  

Aside from the amazing office spaces, we have our hybrid working model - I love that I have the freedom to choose if we work from the office or home, it makes life a lot easier. 

People-first culture

There is more structure around line management now with the introduction of new people experience partners (PEEPs), which I feel is a positive thing. They are here to ensure that everyone in the business has someone advocating for their needs.  

As a business, Opencast is determined to preserve and strengthen its people-first culture. That determination has been the driver behind its creation and deployment of a new team of PEEPs.  

As Opencast grows, it does not want to let the one-to-one support slip – nor does it want to add new tiers of hierarchy. That’s why the PEEPs were born.  

The PEEPs are there to get to know people and understand their motivations and career aspirations. They look at the employee journey and where they can provide the best people experience through an engaging working environment.

The Opencast difference

For me what makes Opencast different from other organisations is the trust – which goes both ways. I know that the company trusts me to do a good job and I trust the company with my career and to have my best interests in mind.  

Previous employers have been great, but this is a different level. There’s a fantastic culture of being keen and passionate about what we do and helping users and our clients – it’s very genuine and easy.


Nicole Avison

Senior Software Developer

Related insights