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Shabana Govani Khatau: from Computing & Accounting to Systems and Applications Support Advisor (Web)

Social media handle(s): LinkedIn


A few words about me:


I'm a Systems and Applications Support Advisor (Web) at Network Rail and tech enthusiast who gets an incredible buzz from learning, especially anything tech-related.


When I'm not diving into coding projects, you'll find me biking, reading, hitting the gym, or exploring the great nature especially in the rain and cold weather as I don't like Sunshine at all ... :-)


As a parent of four lively kids, life is always an adventure. If I had my way, I'd spend my days soaking up new knowledge and geeking out by studying.


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


I was a qualified FA Level 1 Football Coach and started a girls football team in our local community.


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


STEM with BSC in Computing/Accounting.


Where did your professional journey start?


When I started learning with Codecademy.


How did you get into tech and what motivated you?


My brother was the first in our family to get into tech when he was young, and I was fascinated by how he spent his time fixing computers and coding. His talks about tech always sparked my interest.


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


Back in 2003, when I wanted to continue working, finding companies that offered flexible or part-time positions was a significant challenge. This lack of flexibility made it difficult for me to pursue my ambition and continue my career in tech.


Sitting at my desk coding

"It's important to celebrate small wins in tech because it's always evolving. Doing so helps maintain motivation and momentum."


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


If I had known how much I could learn from home while being with my kids, I would have gained a lot more knowledge. Instead, I believed my tech aspirations were over because I wasn't working and thought I couldn't learn much from home. I assumed I needed to go out and take courses to learn tech. Platforms like Codecademy are game changers, and I wish I had discovered them years ago.


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


Learning how AI can enhance my knowledge in ways I never imagined has been incredible. Whenever I get stuck in tech, it's like having a mentor ready to help me with my questions.


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


I love how tech keeps me on my toes with something new every day.


But dealing with imposter syndrome is tough. There's always someone who's mastered what I'm struggling with, making me doubt if I'll ever be as good as them.


"If I had known how much I could learn from home while being with my kids, I would have gained a lot more knowledge. Instead, I believed my tech aspirations were over because I wasn't working and thought I couldn't learn much from home."

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


Getting a job at Network Rail was an exciting moment for me, especially because it showed my boys that all the hard work and studying are starting to pay off.


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


It's important to celebrate small wins in tech because it's always evolving. Doing so helps maintain motivation and momentum.

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