After graduating in Computer Science, I started as a mainframe developer, working across all SDLC stages, where I learnt the value of processes and documentation. I worked on various projects like data modelling, data migration, application development, end-to-end testing project, data analysis etc., thereby gaining experience in many technologies. I developed a passion for delivering quality outputs and best practices. I delivered department (300+ people) level initiatives and received multiple awards. I was a Technology lead, managing a team, while I had to take the tough decision of resigning from my job to look after my first daughter and move to the UK to settle with my husband.

Getting back to the career after a four-year break was a struggle. I applied for entry-level jobs and secured a reporting analyst fixed-term contract. My role had minimal technologies, Excel and a FastStats reporting tool. However, I was content to work for a cause. I saw that I could contribute my skills to improve the organisation’s reporting, where I helped deliver the first automated report from an old IBM mainframe using Excel VBA for programming. The success of this project allowed me to be made permanent and gave me more autonomy. I proposed to implement a SQL Server reporting server rather than always using production environments. I learnt SSIS to implement ETL operations and developed my data modelling and design skills. Outside my role, I contributed to improving data quality and learnt Power BI.

Every day I grew my role until, like many women in technology, I took a break to grow my family.

Upon return from maternity leave, I took charge of the data programme, initiated processes and best practices, and implemented restricted permissions to manage the server better.

As the demand for reporting scaled up, with issues in reports due to unmanaged and duplicated code & data, I raised the need to have a central repository and data marts for centralised reporting. As I learnt more about the concepts of a centralised repository, data warehousing and data governance, I knew this is what I am passionate about. I upskilled myself, got certified in Azure Fundamentals, and put my hand up for an extensive data programme in my organisation. I contributed to the statement of work, scope, and data preparation. I stepped up to do different roles in the project – Business Analyst, Data Architect, Data Modeller, BI Analyst, Tester, and finally, a Data Engineer in this large UK charity.

I worked tirelessly to learn modern cloud warehousing technologies, stretching myself to ensure I was never behind with skillsets, stood up for my development despite multiple pushbacks, and seized the opportunities to develop and deliver outputs as a data engineer.

My motto is ‘Make it Happen’. I am now a Data Engineer, the organisation’s first appointment in this role. I am proud to have achieved this through hard work, perseverance, self-motivation, and determination.