Social media handle(s): You can find all of my links and handles on Linktree
A few words about me:
I have over 20 years experience in tech; I am a British Computer Society Council Member; I am passionate about diversity in tech; I speak at events and take part in panel discussions related to Quality, Software Testing, Diversity and Inclusion.
Are there any professional experiences you've had that are quite unexpected compared to what you do nowadays?
The very first company I worked for was the Confederation of British Industry where I was a Conference Organiser.
Is your background more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or non-STEM related?
Where did your professional journey start?
My tech career started with a role of a Business Analyst in the late 90’s, before moving into a testing role in the early 00’s.
How did you get into tech and what motivated you?
My first tech role was with a publishing company. I enjoyed the role, but I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do so my next few roles were not tech. Then I ended up working within a tech team for a pharmaceutical company. That’s when I discovered my career. I was mentored by a Systems Analyst who recognised my skills and mindset and suggested that I might be good at Software Testing. From then I never looked back.
Have you experienced any 'career in tech' challenges / stereotypes?
Absolutely! I worked alone on smaller projects or within mostly male teams for years, especially as a contractor. There definitely wasn’t the support that is available to women in tech now.
"Don’t be put off if you think a career in tech means you have to be in Development."
What you wish you knew before getting started in tech...
I wish I had known about the importance of mentorship. Also, about joining networks for support.
What has been your biggest 'wow!' moment related to working in tech so far?
Everything that has happened in the past 2 or 3 years. Seeing so many diversity and Women in Tech groups start up. Also being able to support some of these groups.
What do you like / not like about working in tech?
I like being able to support organisations that highlight the lack of women in tech, especially from diverse backgrounds. I also like being able to still be in the industry after so many years.
What I don’t like about tech is still not seeing enough women in decision-making positions. Changes are coming, but slowly.
"There are lots of skills and roles that you can train for and your previous background and experience may be beneficial."
What's been your favourite / most memorable / funniest 'career in tech' moment so far?
Some of my favourite moments have been post-lockdowns and being able to meet people in-person that I haven’t been able to before whether they are mentees or colleagues from tech groups.
Also being included in the Computer Weekly Women in UK Tech list top 30 was amazing.
And to wrap up, is there any advice you'd like to give to others interested in a career in tech?
Don’t be put off if you think a career in tech means you have to be in Development. There are lots of skills and roles that you can train for and your previous background and experience may be beneficial. If you are leaving uni or are a career starter, try reaching out to people doing roles you might be interested in via LinkedIn. They may be able to advise, mentor or put you in touch with other people within their network.