From a young age, I’ve always had a passion for technology. It began with old gaming consoles and then grew when I got my first computer. This lead to me taking an interest in computing at school and following through to university where I completed a course in Computing Technologies. It wasn’t until university that I realised how much I enjoyed programming. My initial interest was web technologies and design, however, this quickly changed as I realised there was so much more going on behind the scenes. I took a huge interest in back-end development and wanted to continue to progress and develop my skills within this area. I enjoy the logical thinking, the troubleshooting, the trial and error and the satisfaction of finding a solution to a problem.
Many people think the world of technology is dominated by men and whilst to a certain extent this is true, the gender gap is closing. My time with ICONI Software has taught me that gender doesn’t matter. I began working at ICONI shortly after graduating and I couldn’t imagine working in a better place. Being part of a mostly male environment has had no effect on how much I have learnt during my time here. I have learnt so much more from our development team than I did during my time at university. Everyone’s opinion is valued and no one is ever made to feel disrespected.
Girls need to be shown that a career in coding can be, and is, hugely interesting, rewarding and that coding and technology are fundamental skill sets required within any industry that they hope to pursue a career in. They need to have the ability to learn these skills and to up-skill females (and males) who are already in the workforce. Organisations such as ‘Women Who Code’ are available to help encourage women to further their interest in technology by holding seminars and giving women the chance to meet locally to talk about their areas of interest.
An issue for many women coders, (including myself, although this has steadily improved during my time at ICONI) is having self-confidence in the work that we deliver. Challenges help us to learn, grow and to better ourselves as developers. I have learnt that it is OK to make mistakes, as long as we are able to understand why and learn from them. I am passionate about the work that I deliver and excited about the possibilities for the future. Technology changes so quickly and at times when it may seem overwhelming, there is always something new to learn. The challenges are what makes it fun and exciting.
It is great to see more women building their skills and creativity through the use of technology. Women have the opportunity to develop their careers through a better understanding of technology and making it part of their daily lives. Success is about focusing on our skills and expertise as developers, not focusing on our gender.
Whether or not everyone sees it, women have and always will play a huge part within this industry. Women can help communicate, broaden viewpoints and bring a level of creativity and empathy that is essential for innovation. Rather than focus on the diversity numbers, we should focus on the stories of women who have pioneered innovation to help shape the tech-driven world that we live in today and encourage more women to join us on our journey.