Shivangi DasI am a software developer at DWP Digital. I have a bachelor’s in computer science and achieved a masters in Machine Learning last year.

I started coding for a living in 2014 and have loved it since. Before DWP Digital, I have worked on a Wealth management app (where I developed an interest in investing) and video analytics using artificial intelligence. At my current position, I work on building and supporting applications used in DWP and by millions of people that need them.

On a typical workday, how do you start your day and how does it end?

My workday begins with checking my to-do list while eating breakfast and checking up on messages and mail before the stand-up meeting. I make to-dos at the end of the day to allow me to completely switch off thinking about work when I close my laptop. There’s lots of stretching and moving around involved before and during work, combined with snacks. I usually go for a walk or run right after work.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Yes! I do it quite often, always at the end of a project, towards the end of a year or half-year. I also find it helpful to discuss my development with managers and mentors. As an example, I have recently started thinking about whether I want to stay in a more developer-oriented position or look at managerial roles. When talking about it with my manager, they shared a lot of their personal experience and also directed me to useful resources.

What do you love about working for DWP Digital?

I joined DWP Digital recently and was impressed by the anonymous hiring process. This is evidenced by the diversity of my colleagues I get the opportunity to work with. DWP Digital is also doing a wonderful job of involving everyone in the conversation. I love getting to use the latest technologies, working with amazing and helpful colleagues and of course, the scale of impact is very humbling.

Plus, I get great appreciation for every piece of work.

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you overcome these challenges?

Being an introvert and sometimes being the only woman at the table has been a challenge in previous jobs. I had to learn to speak louder, learn to say, “I was speaking”, stop apologising for everything and put forth my ideas with conviction. I also had some amazing mentors that were very supportive.

Have you benefited from coaching, mentoring or the sponsorship of others?

Yes! I have so many mentors to thank for encouraging me to try new technologies, take up new opportunities and open gates for more. My masters last year was sponsored by the British Council India. I started my journey into AI because one of my mentors appreciated my side projects in AI. One of my coaches from my time in a month-long Developer Academy encouraged me to become more confident when speaking publicly.

Do you believe in the power of networking? If so, where do you network?

I do believe in the power of networking however as an introvert, casual networking does not work for me. I forge relationships with people I meet and like at tech events like women in tech, women developers academy, tech communities like TechLadies, Women in Digital (DWP) or am introduced to through other people.

What advice would you give to those who aspire to a career in tech?

Start before you think you’re ready because you’ll never be ready, and you don’t have to be. Learning on the job is a skill we already have and is all that is required in the beginning.

What does the future hold for you?

Currently, I’m enjoying my work a lot and working towards financial freedom in the next ten years. This means being very involved with my money- having a budget, investing, saving for emergencies, making clear goals for every half year. It is a little scary but also extremely satisfying.

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