Jenny Wong

Career Stories: Meet Jenny Wong, Global Partnerships Director, Thoughtworks

Meet Jenny Wong, Global Partnerships Director, Thoughtworks

Jenny Wong

We caught up with our Global Partnerships Director, Jenny Wong to discuss her 16-year career journey with Thoughtworks. Jenny tells us what it means to be a Thoughtworker, and the advice she would give to women looking for a career in tech.

Tell us a bit about your Thoughtworks journey

I’ve worked in 12 Thoughtworks office locations, 10 countries, and on over 60 client projects.  I started as a Graduate Business Analyst at Thoughtworks University!  I’ve worn SO MANY hats, from Business Analyst (BA) and Product Manager, to now where I’m advising C-suite executives on how to build new organizations.

Over 16 years there have been so many highlights it’s impossible to choose one. One would be advising a client chief information officer from a 110-year-old railway company on how to innovate with tech, such as mixed reality, 3D printing and smart contracting was incredible. As was creating a first-to-market product that reduces the time planes are stranded on the runway for another client. Or re-architecting roadmaps for a company within the automobile industry on their electric vehicles, and revamping a subscription service that predicted the future of fashion – the list goes on!

Life as a consultant is hectic – we live in the fast lane. But I love the variety of businesses we get to work with, and the impact we can have on them through technology – it’s such a privilege. We really get to walk a mile in their shoes which has led me to so many experiences I wouldn’t otherwise have had. I am always learning, and that’s why I’ve stayed for as long as I have.

Growth looks like an explorer’s journey. But the key is not the roles you play, the projects you are in. It is the impact that you will create, the positive change, and the knowledge or the tools you have shared with the people you have crossed paths with.

You’ve had an amazingly varied career so far, what have you learned about managing all those transitions and taking on new opportunities?

Taking on new opportunities is part and parcel of the deal.  It’s embedded into the culture of learning inside Thoughtworks.  You have to embrace it. That doesn’t necessarily mean saying ‘yes’ to everything that comes your way; it’s about identifying what’s right for you and being smart about what you bring. Trust yourself – you are more equipped than you think you are.

All that said…Luck favors the prepared; don’t just go with your eyes closed.

What value do you think mentoring brings, and what advice would you give to anyone either with experience to share, or looking to learn from others?

The best advice is to build a robust network so that you navigate this journey together.  But it’s not networking, it’s building your foundation, your mirrors, and finding your champions.  Going at it together is better, it gives you far more chances to succeed than going at it alone. Whether you have the advice to give or are looking to learn, always make the time – whether it’s a formal cultivator or coach relationship, or just a serendipitous interaction – use it!

I would encourage everyone to consider mentoring others. You don’t need to be an expert (please don’t worry about thinking you’re not enough; as long as you can provide psychological safety, trust, and respect. Reflecting on what you’ve learned is how you discover where you are – start sharing your experiences and learn from it.

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Cynthia Anyaeriuba, Graduate Software Developer, Thoughtworks

Career Stories: Meet Cynthia Anyaeriuba, Graduate Software Developer, Thoughtworks

Meet Cynthia Anyaeriuba, Graduate Software Developer, Thoughtworks

Cynthia Anyaeriuba, Graduate Software Developer, Thoughtworks

We caught up with Graduate Software Developer, Cynthia Anyaeriuba who gave us an overview of her journey into the tech industry. Cynthia started her career as an Orthoptist, however, it was her passion for the tech world that would guide her to Thoughtworks.

Tell us a little about yourself and your career journey so far

My name is Cynthia and I’m a recent career changer. I joined the world of tech about a year and a half ago.

I’m a Graduate Developer at Thoughtworks and I took a non-traditional route into the tech industry. I actually started off my higher education as an Orthoptist, which many people aren’t familiar with. In short, it’s essentially an eye specialist.

Through lots of twists and turns, I ended up going into the world of business as an Account Manager. I knew it wasn’t quite the right role for me, and being quite a curious person, I actually started to shadow Business Analysts and other tech professionals within my company which allowed me to gauge what it meant to work in tech and the type of work they did. From then on, I knew I wanted to be in tech in a hands-on role.

After a bit of investigation, I went through a course at Makers Academy and a Bootcamp that gave me all the skills I needed to apply for the Graduate role at Thoughtworks.

It was such a worthwhile experience and something that I am so glad I did because it was a pivotal point in my life – it allowed me to step into this career and gave me the validation that I could actually do this.

You mention that you started to shadow tech professionals whilst at your previous company, what was it about the tech industry that made you want to make the career change? 

I think it would be that you’re constantly learning. Because I reached a point in my previous career where I felt a little bit stagnant and I just didn’t feel like I was using my brain very much in my day-to-day job.

My orthoptic career was inspired by my need to help people. From a young age, my parents were both in health care. So I thought the only way I could do that was through healthcare. Now, working in tech, I realize that technology is another route to help so many people. So it was kind of a combination of both those things, constant learning and also the fact that I can actually use tech for good and make a change to people’s lives.

Can you tell us a little about how you found your way to Thoughtworks?

When I started at Makers Academy, I discovered Thoughtworks. And it was through a webinar that Hackajob posted. I  really liked the fact that the person that was hosting the webinar was a woman. I really appreciated that because I don’t often see a lot of female representation within the industry. Especially at a high senior level. And when she was explaining what working at Thoughtworks was like, there was a huge focus on team, inclusivity and social impact work.

The social impact work really resonated with me, even to the point where in my interviews at Thoughtworks, a huge portion of my interview was around social justice. And that was almost a casual conversation between myself and two other developers. At first, I thought this seems like such a random thing to do in an interview, but I think it was to gauge the kind of personality that you have because you do need to be aligned with the Thoughtworks ethos.

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Career Stories: Meet Becky Green, Senior Business Analyst, Thoughtworks

Meet Becky Green, Senior Business Analyst, Thoughtworks

Becky Green, Thoughtworks

We caught up with Senior Business Analyst, Becky Green to discuss her journey into the tech industry, and what it was about Thoughtworks culture that brought her back after two years.

When did you know you wanted to have a career in tech?

I didn’t really have a moment where I thought ‘I want to work in tech’, it was more of ‘I want to work in a place that allows me to use my skills, work with high energy people and make interesting things happen’ and the tech industry just so happened to allow me to do all of that!

As soon as I joined the tech industry I quickly realised how diverse it was in terms of roles, products, ways of working and people. It’s a great place to have a career for those that enjoy variety.

What’s your advice for growing a career in the tech industry?

My advice (especially early on) is to take opportunities with enthusiasm, learn as much as you can from experienced people around you, and be confident asking questions. If you can build your personal ‘brand’ early on to be someone who is inquisitive and get things done, people will quickly start trusting you to be responsible for larger pieces of work. Other than that I really enjoy working with people who have a positive attitude so try to bring that to work as much as possible.

What is your proudest accomplishment both personally and professionally?

Going into the tech industry I felt like there was a pressure to be very technical, and often found myself feeling overwhelmed at the terminology the developers would use. So professionally I chose to complete a course in financial business analysis which included learning Python and SQL at a basic to mid-level. I would say that course was ‘up there’ in terms of difficulty as it included many submissions of exam-style questions, and that was on top of my day-to-day work so it could get quite stressful! However, it has definitely built up my confidence in keeping up with technical conversations.

Personally, I’ve had a shift in mentality that it is entirely ok to not have ‘hard’ technical skills, as there is a ginormous space for people with other skills that are equally important.

Those professional and personal accomplishments have helped me gain confidence in my role in different ways.

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Thoughtworks Technology Radar events

Recommended Events: Technology Radar | Thoughtworks

Thoughtworks Technology Radar events

For more than 10 years, Thoughtworks’ Technology Radar report has been relied on by global technology leaders to identify trends and inform investment decisions.

This year we are running in person Technology Radar events across three of our locations;

  • Manchester- 26 April at the Thoughtworks Manchester office
  • Newcastle – 28 April at The Core, Newcastle Helix
  • London – 11 May at the Thoughtworks London office

All events in person events will run from 6 pm to 8:30 pm BST.

We will also be running a webinar on 12 May, 12pm – 1pm BST for those that cannot make it in person.

Join our speakers Olivia Frost, Arpitha Patil, Ian Cartwright, Padmaja Sasidharan and James Lewis for a discussion on some of the new blips and themes that will be featured on the upcoming Technology Radar. You’ll also have the chance to ask questions to our panel.

We will be running this event in person for a limited audience, seats are on a first come, first served basis. Or you can register for the virtual Zoom event, please indicate your preference when you register.

REGISTER HERE

Anne Simmons

Anne Simmons | ThoughtWorks

Anne Simmons

Anne Simmons is currently a Global Head of Capability at ThoughtWorks, where she is responsible for new market growth, helping ThoughtWorks successfully enter and service new markets and offerings.

In this role, Anne works with country leadership teams around the world to ensure a strategic approach to both individual and organizational capability planning and development.

Since joining ThoughtWorks over ten years ago as a developer and recent Computer Science graduate, Anne has played a number of roles working directly with clients, coaching delivery teams and supporting the CTO Rebecca Parsons. During this time she managed the creation and release of the popular ThoughtWorks Technology Radar. Her latest role combines her love of the use of technology to solve problems and her passion for developing people.

Anne is an active coach and mentor for many colleagues, supporting their leadership development. She co-sponsors and facilitates the companies global Technical Specialist leadership development programme.

Anne has become a regular speaker on the topic of the importance of diversity in technology. Most notably she spoke at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 2011.

In 2018 Anne won the 10 Digital Ladies "Technologist" award, which celebrates someone who has led the implementation of technology to bring significant impact to an organisation or industry, The judges said, “We loved Anne’s continual passion and pursuit of digital perfection alongside supporting women in digital."

Prior to software development, Anne was a ski instructor in Canada and New Zealand which continues to be one of her main passions, and set her up with many of the skills that she relies on today.

Over the last year Anne has become a dedicated volunteer and campaigner for Disability Snowsports UK, providing on-snow support and raising awareness of inclusiveness in snowsports.