Rebecca SawRebecca is looking to create never-before-seen interactive story-telling that will mix linear television and gaming to provide viewers with a dynamic blended reality. 

She recently worked on Traitor, a VR-live theatre thriller that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’m a freelance developer – I code Virtual Reality experiences as well as Android and iOS apps.

With the Sky Women in Tech Scholarship I’m creating a proof of concept for a piece of Interactive Television. I’m using emerging technology to create a new form of storytelling, that encourages rewatchability, increases engagement and sparks discussion after viewing.

Without revealing too much, it’s a piece that the viewer watches on their TV, interacting with their remote control. It’s not ‘Choose A or B’, instead it’s something which is designed to feel a lot more natural to the traditional TV viewing experience.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not really! Once I knew I wanted to create a piece of interactive television, I wrote a list of steps to get the project funded, things like getting advice on the project and researching funding opportunities. The Sky Scholarship was actually the first funding opportunity I applied to!

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

I’ve struggled with imposter syndrome. One of my first jobs after uni was in an office where everyone was male and older than me. It felt like what I was working on was easy compared to what they were doing. I found the best way to overcome imposter syndrome is to talk about it – those negative thoughts lose a lot of their power when you take them out of your brain and can see them for what they are.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I was the Assistant Developer on Traitor VR – a live theatre, mixed reality escape room by Pilot Theatre. We took the piece to the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019 which was a fantastic experience – I was very fortunate to work on such an exciting project, and with a brilliant team that I learned a lot from.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I’ve got a really clear vision for what I want my project to be. I genuinely believe that storytelling will adapt with new technology in a dramatic way in the next ten years, and I want to be one of the people carving that path.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in Technology?

Be bold, and think bigger! It’s great to have loads of ideas, but pursue the one you can’t go a day without thinking about.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

There can be barriers, but I think generally now is a great time to be a woman in tech. Mentorship and role models are great ways to support women starting out in the tech sector.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

There’s loads of companies that do this really well. Mentorships schemes where younger women can learn from people of all genders in senior roles can be incredibly valuable. Encouraging creativity and development opportunities is also great for everyone.

There is currently only 17% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Media representation of the tech industry tends to be skewed very young, white and male. I’d love to see more TV shows or other media showing a more diverse range of people represented.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Code First: Girls do great work in increasing the number of women in tech. They offer free coding lessons for women and non-binary people at Universities across the UK. If you’re already in tech, they have a range of volunteering roles which is a great way to support other women and build a network of contacts.

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