Rupinder Garcha

Scrolling through my Twitter timeline in 2016 – whilst free-lancing at a youth marketing agency – I saw a tweet that read ‘Myspace had us all coding and not knowing we were flirting with a six-figure skill.’

Aside from making me laugh out loud on my morning commute, thinking back to growing up using MySpace and styling my profile page with music, glitter text and fancy cursor, the tweet hit home that as a teenager I was using HTML but had no idea that this is what I was doing – it made me I wonder if I’d realised the possibilities of playing with webpages at that time if I’d have stuck with it. The tweet prompted me to explore how I could start learning to code again – I did some investigation and came across a great blog post by tech writer Catherine Heath on free UK wide coding groups for women. I found out about CodeBar, a non-profit initiative that facilitates the growth of a diverse tech community by running free programming workshops. I started attending CodeBar in October 2016 and learnt the basics of front-end development. I became part of an incredible and supportive community that excited me about joining the world of digital. My passion for tech continued to grow and in early 2017 I joined Code First: Girls as a Programmes Manager. My work at Code First: Girls centred on helping to lower the barrier for entry into tech and entrepreneurship for women through the free coding courses that the company run. Creating real social impact through Code First: Girls was important to me. Following my work with Code First: Girls, I joined a digital team in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a British pharmaceutical company. It is an exciting time for GSK as it undergoes a radical tech transformation. I am excited to be part of this transformation by helping GSK to really embed digital at its core, for example, by adopting agile ways of working. I would like to move into product management and I am currently on a secondment with a digital product team, where I am getting to grips with bringing the business, technology and UX/UI together.