Shirley Atkinson – Business & Web Services
Over 20 years experience in system, software and website testing.
Like most children I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school, except I wanted to work with animals. So when I left school I found my ideal job working in a local boarding kennels. I loved it, but because it was an employment scheme and partly government funded I knew I couldn’t stay there forever.
When it came to an end after 3 years, I applied for a job at the local DSS office in Rhyl and began a career working for Her Majesty’s Government. Several years later I was itching to do something a little bit more on the computer side of things. So I took on a temporary role testing the Income Support benefit system at the DWP computer site near Blackpool. I enjoyed it so much that I was over the moon when they offered me a permanent post. That was in 1997 and the start of my illustrious system testing career, and where I met my husband.
Passionate about my work
After several years working on various benefit systems I decided that I enjoyed finding and fixing bugs in software and web design – and I was darn good at it ! So with the support and back-up of my husband, and numerous conversations with friends and family, I decided to set up as an independent system and website testing consultant in 2001.
It’s a role that I am very passionate about and which has enabled me to work for a number of great companies over the years – British Telecom, DWP, General Electric, HSBC, the UK Home Office – and in a wide-range of industries. I now have a fantastic network of contacts who I can call on for advice whenever I need it, and I have wonderful friends all over the world.
Moving permanently to France in 2017 enabled me to continue running my own business, but working fewer hours. It also meant I could spend more time with Phil pottering about in the garden, and immersing myself in the French language and culture.
Attention to detail
Now I use my knowledge, experience and attention to detail to help small business owners – like me! – improve their online professional image. I offer help and advice, and also provide services which can help them enhance their business profile, and ultimately expand their customer/client base.
I’m pleased to say that my clients in France seem to like my work just as much as my previous clients in the UK – if not more. And I couldn’t be happier. C’est la vie !