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Beth Clarke: from Physics to Quality and DevOps Engineer

Social media handle(s): You can find links to all of my accounts on Linktree.

A few words about me:

A portrait photograph of Beth Clarke, a white woman in her mid-20s with brown hair and glasses. She is wearing a white blouse and black jeans. She is smiling and facing the camera. She is in front of a plain white background.

I'm a Software Quality Engineer who specialises in testing software that keeps people safe. I've helped create software that has been used everywhere, from trains up to satellites in space!

I'm also hugely passionate about diversity in STEM, having founded a women's network, a tech blog, and being the Vice Chair of the WISE Young Professionals' Board.

Outside of the tech world, I'm also a volunteer with the Scouts!

Are there any professional experiences you've had that are quite unexpected compared to what you do nowadays?

My first jobs were all working in financial services! I completed two summer internships at Lloyds Banking Group where I worked in their Digital and Financial Inclusion teams. I helped make banking more accessible to those from disadvantaged groups.

I also worked at PwC for a year in their Audit team, where I was involved with verifying details in companies financial accounts. Whilst I didn't use much tech in any of these roles, I learned a lot of transferrable skills that I use every day!

Is your background more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or non-STEM related?

STEM - I graduated from the University of Bath in 2019 with a degree in Physics with Astrophysics. Space is a huge interest of mine. I also completed a BCS Software Development Apprenticeship in 2021.

Where did your professional journey start?

My professional journey began in 2019, when I joined Capgemini Engineering as a Graduate Apprentice. This is the first time I took a formal course in computing!

How did you get into tech and what motivated you?

I got into tech during my final year at university. I took a module called Computational Astrophysics where I was tasked with using code to simulate the orbits of comets and the behaviour of fluids in stars. I learned to code for the first time during this module, and was in awe of the power of tech. I've not looked back since!

Have you experienced any 'career in tech' challenges / stereotypes?

Yes! The biggest one is the idea that you have to have been coding since the age of 2 to be any good in the tech world. I only learned to code at 22! You do not have to be a programming genius to break into the tech world: you just need to be excited about learning!

"... community support will get you through tough times and open new doors for you!"

What you wish you knew before getting started in tech...

I wish I had known just how important it is to get a mentor! My mentors have been life changing in my personal development and career trajectory.

What has been your biggest 'wow!' moment related to working in tech so far?

The rise of FemTech - it is incredible! It's amazing to see technology being developed by women for women, to help overcome problems like breastfeeding or menstruation. As well as solving problems for millions of people these tech products also help reduce the stigma around women's health issues.

What do you like / not like about working in tech?

I love that I am always learning something new. Tech evolves so quickly and no two days are the same.

I don't like the lack of women in senior technical positions - this needs to change!

"You do not have to be a programming genius to break into the tech world: you just need to be excited about learning!"

What's been your favourite / most memorable / funniest 'career in tech' moment so far?

Speaking at the Women of Silicon Roundabout in 2022 will be a highlight of my career. It was amazing to meet so many women who are doing incredible work in the tech space, and it was humbling to see so many of them interested in my talk!

And to wrap up, is there any advice you'd like to give to others interested in a career in tech?

Find a community! Whether this is friends, a mentor, or a network on LinkedIn - community support will get you through tough times and open new doors for you!


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