Jo Freegard
I returned to university to study for a MSc in software systems after a period in retail. My first IT role was at an engineering company as a Graduate Analyst Programmer, a couple of years before the dreaded Y2K (year 2000) hit the industry. The first few months were spent editing code to make sure that it would not fail when the new year arrived. I also learned to program in VB6 but soon realised that I loved extracting data and designing reports. I became the Crystal Reports guru for the company. My next two roles were at insurance companies working as a business intelligence developer. Both involved designing and building a data warehouse. My latest role started as a SQL developer, responsible for migrating databases from on-premise servers into the cloud (Microsoft Azure). This role also morphed into a business intelligence role where I extracted data, aggregated it and produced dashboards and reports. My perfect day is spent with my head deep in the database, trying to answer those tricky questions that senior managers throw at me on a daily basis. Providing those answers that bring benefit to the company or just make somebody else’s job easier is extremely satisfying.