Dandelion Programme harnessing natural talents for IT

Adelaide’s Connor Taylor is proof you can use what some people see as a limitation, as a unique skill. In primary school Connor was diagnosed to be on the autism spectrum. 

He experienced a challenging upbringing and while he didn’t find understanding the material at school difficult, he still struggled.

“Because the work was not challenging enough to maintain my interest, I stopped putting in effort and this led to me failing high school. Even though I had the knowledge to pass easily,” Connor explained.

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After a stint at a local pizzeria, Connor heard about the Dandelion Programme at a job search meeting. He was told a company was seeking individuals on the autism spectrum who had a natural talent for IT.

“I knew straight away that it sounded like something I could do well, and within minutes I applied,” Connor said.

“the next thing I knew I attended a workshop and from there I was accepted into a four-week assessment period which challenged me in areas like data analysis, bug removal and being able to perform under instruction.”

Connor was then offered a position in the Dandelion Programme, a three-year traineeship with the Department of Human Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Danish organisation Specialisterne, for people on the autism spectrum with outstanding IT skills.

“What I enjoy most about my role as a Functional Tester is that the work is relatively all the same, but with some small changes, which makes it easy for me to adapt to each new task.”

When asked what it is that motivates him to go to work it’s quite simple.

“My partner inspires me, every day. She inspires me to do better and be better at everything. She is my motivation and I’m very lucky to have her in my life.”

Connor also wanted to send a message to other jobseekers diagnosed with Autism.

“If you are looking for work, don’t you dare give up. Make employers see your true potential and the skills you have because you are not disadvantaged,” Connor said.

“What you have is an advantage that helps you do things differently to those around you, so nurture it and let it grow and show them what you can really do.”

More information
  • Enquiries about the Dandelion Programme can be directed to specialistpeople@hpe.com