While studying for my English Literature degree, I contracted as a writer at advertising firms to pay bills. This shaped my approach to building technical solutions in the future, which is to empathise with customers and challenge existing notions about what they want.

I declined a competitive advertising graduate scheme to work as a data analyst for an online retail start-up. I got the job because I proved my raw problem-solving ability and data interpretation skills on a whiteboard in front of the founders. Graduate employers often assume that analytical skills are exclusive to STEM and miss a valuable talent pool in the Humanities. I differentiated myself from STEM graduates because I spoke the language of data value and showed how data insights could be applied to optimise customer metrics and drive profit from the product.

I moved into the video games industry as a development manager where I shipped four globally acclaimed PC games and got into the weeds of software engineering. I led a full stack team to build frontend web experiences and functionality within the games to enable cross-selling between titles and in-game retention. I led the design and build of the game studio’s flagship website and wrote the copy myself. I represented my studio at the annual Game Developers’ Conference in San Francisco.

I took the role of platform product manager at a bank with the mission to build a cloud infrastructure platform from scratch. I arrived on the job as a seasoned agile software engineering manager but quickly up-skilled into an infrastructure and platform engineering expert, which is the technical area I have continued to invest in. I defined the platform technical strategy and worked side-by-side with 20 engineers to deliver it. I drove senior stakeholder engagement and systemic operational changes across the bank to scale the platform and get it into the hands of customers. As a result, I deployed the bank’s first regulated financial product into the cloud within 6 months and kick-started the bank’s transition from legacy systems.

I was promoted to senior manager in the data engineering space, which made me one of the youngest leaders in the bank. I assembled a cross-functional engineering team to build a scrappy MVP for automated data ingestion into a data lake on the cloud platform I previously built. I proved the business value of automated data flows to the bank’s C-level and built a business case to save the bank millions per year. I coached two colleagues in the principles of technical product management to take the business case forward.

I am now the global Head of Product for SaaS and cloud infrastructure at a FinTech, with a team of product managers across an engineering department of 100+. My background in technology spans game development, web development, cloud infrastructure and platform engineering, which enables me to build strong engineering cultures and compelling products.