Tom and I worked in back-end PHP development for nearly a year together. He started out with limited knowledge in the field (having come from a Computer Forensics and Securitybackground), but quickly adjusted. He spent time learning the required skills in his own time to catch up, and he began to excel.
I would trust Tom to provide the same level of enthusiasm, confidence, and skill in any field he was interested in. Should Tom apply himself in the same way for any development-based role, he would have my full support and faith.