With an interest in maths and science at school, I started out as an electronics engineer, followed by a decade working in engineering roles for a large industrial firm. Motherhood meant making some changes and decisions to suit family priorities. Whilst on a career break I completed an OU degree in psychology and then moved on to roles promoting volunteering and helping people find volunteer opportunities.

An opportunity to buy a family friendly, small business kept me busy for the next ten years and taking or roles of marketing manager, ops director, HR officer to deliver children’s activity classes as part of a national franchise.

Getting to a stage of my life where the family friendly needs lessened, my journey back into a tech role started by chance. A friend and former colleague asked me to organise the Django Girls workshop, a free programming tutorial for women with little or no tech experience, at PyConUK – a conference for the Python programming language community, introducing me to conference organising and a very welcoming tech community. This experience was the motivation to propel me towards the Tech Returners return to tech bootcamp – which both updated my skills and confirmed that I was still interested in tech and that I did want to get back into the industry.

Following the bootcamp I found a developer role in a small start-up cooperative in the care sector. With a care pilot on the ground, the organisation is also in the process of developing a platform app matching independent carers to people in need of care and supporting the administration of the the care teams. A whole new tech stack and a very diverse user base meant quickly picking up lots of things; working closely with users; and developing for accessibility being a significant success criteria.

Latterly I have joined a tech consultancy, sad to leave the care cooperative but excited for the breadth offered by a larger organisation and the opportunities for continual personal development. During my time here I have worked on three accounts within two industry sectors with new tech stacks each time, working as part of talented multi disciplinary teams to deliver tech transformation projects to our clients. Keeping an eye out for training and opportunities for self development I have completed a launchpad designed up up-skill existing engineers and have worked as a mobile software engineer for the last two clients in environments where secure coding practices and authentication are significant considerations. I also have a side role to enhance the organisation’s involvement in the local tech community by hosting and supporting community events in our space and identifying and sharing community involvement opportunities internally.

I have maintained my links with PyConUK, delivering two more Django Girls workshops and becoming part of the volunteer organising team; initially supporting on communications and sponsorship but for the last three editions as conference director (albeit that for the 2021 conference this meant managing the decision not to run the conference).