Jessica White

I have been a software developer for two years now, but my background in technology goes back further than that. The research I was conducting as part of my Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging course back in 2011 exposed me to my first real experience of programming. As part of the fMRI and EEG studies I was conducting I need to write both programs for triggering timing on the equipment and statistical analysis of the results. For this, I needed to learn Matlab and Python. The majority of this was self-taught, and looking back it certainly wasn’t pretty. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the challenge.

Fast forward a few years and due to a number of circumstances, I was faced with a dilemma. There was no longer any funding for my research. I was faced with the choice of trying to fund my own research (impossible) or to leave my PhD.. After some hard thinking, I realised the bit I enjoyed most about my course was the technological side. To test this theory, my partner set me some javascript challenges to try out over the next three months, and with that I was hooked.

With some effort, I got accepted onto a Computer Science conversion MSc at The University of Birmingham. I passed with a first and landed my first job as a Software Developer at Oakbrook Finance.

Since then I have:

  • Founded and ran an inclusive event for over a year (Women In Tech Nottingham), which continues to be very successful.
  • Ran a charity showing of Hidden Figures to raise money for Code Club.
  • Spoken at universities at bootcamps on starting a career in technology with a non-typical background and the advantages of having a diverse, multi-disciplined background.
  • Mentored work experience children that came to Oakbrook Finance on a project involving making a chat bot.
  • Advocated working in technology at careers fairs.
  • Volunteered at conferences.
  • Attended hackathons and been involved in organising a challenge for a company that was sponsoring.
  • Spoken about dashboarding and monitoring at events and conferences.

Alongside all this, I have grown as a developer and become evermore passionate about this industry I fell in love with just a few short years ago. I am now starting a new role at Tonik Energy where I hope to learn even more in my role while still contributing to the tech community in any way I can.

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