Grace Jansen

I jumped straight into the deep end with my career at IBM.

Joining the company 18 months ago, I had come straight from a Biology degree at the University of Exeter. Despite the fact that I had limited programming experience and no formal computer science education, I took the challenge head on and immediately got stuck in, learning and improving upon these skills. As a Developer Advocate, I programme demos and proof of concept applications to show to clients and developers, I write blogs, guides and tutorials, and I present at conferences internationally. Despite the steep learning curve, I have progressed quickly, building several new demos and am now presenting my work on an international scale. Using my unusual educational background for this field, I have found ways to simplify and demonstrate emerging software architecture styles using biological analogies.

Thanks to my increasing eminence, through the conferences and regular presentations I give, I was sought out by an external consultant to co-author an O’Reilly book together on Reactive as a subject matter expert. In between conferences, this is what I am currently focusing on.

With IBM’s support, I have been able to put my presenting skills to good use in pursuing my passion to inspire more young women to consider technical careers. I regularly present at both primary and secondary schools, as well as volunteering at and organising science and engineering events for children. I love being a positive role model for diversity within my industry and am already mentoring several new graduates at IBM.

I am also an active member of IBM’s patenting community and, through my proactive engagement, I have already been awarded a Senior Inventor title. The Senior Inventor Scheme acknowledges inventors who have both a strong record of personal inventing but crucially also make an active contribution to the inventing community and act as ambassadors for the generation of new patents and IP (intellectual property) in IBM. Through this role, I help drive innovation within my organisation, and encourage others to participate in this process and to publish or patent their own innovative ideas.