Lucy’s a developer here at Statement. A few years ago, she decided she wanted a career change. Making the bold switch from retail to tech, she tells us all about how she got into a career in tech with no experience and advice on how you can make it happen too.
tell us how you got into a career in tech.
I started off doing biochemistry at university and then decided I didn't want to do that. After my degree, I worked in retail for a bit and worked my way up in retail management but felt like I was missing something. So, in my free time I took up a course in web development because I wanted to do something I was interested in, and it looked like something I would be good at.
I was getting fed up with working in retail and started attending meetups and tech talks. I was pretty shy, but I started talking to some people there and asked how I could get a job in this field. I'll be honest, I think it was mainly a room of men, but then the people who organised it caught me as I was leaving and asked me to come for an interview for them. I ended up becoming a junior support developer and that’s how I got myself in.
That was the first interview I had received, which gave me the confidence to apply for several similar roles and I got all three of them!
did you recognise you had an interest in development earlier on in your life?
Even though I now feel like my degree wasn’t the right choice for me, I have always been interested in science and how things work. I love learning how to problem solve and this definitely matches up with development.
tell me about a career highlight of yours.
Honestly, getting into the career is a highlight for me - figuring out what you want to do is not easy. I'm somebody who enjoys change and variety, so it was nice for me to be able to learn something, find a job in it and actually enjoy it once I started.
what advice would you give to women wanting to get started in a tech career?
For anybody who is looking to get into tech, you should go to a meetup as they're really good. There are official ones and women-only ones but it's a good place to start if you feel comfortable attending.
After that, I think the best thing to do is just start applying to jobs, because the literal worst thing that can happen is that you don't get it. That is an experience you can learn from in itself. So as long as you're enthusiastic and interested, you don’t have anything to fear.
It’s very much about having the confidence to just do it and believe it’s something that you’re capable of. You can swap your career and make it a success.
why do you think that development roles have become a more male-dominated career choice?
I think that there is a very tunnel vision view of web development. Just like in any job where you're at the computer and you're in your own head solving a problem, there is the connotation that there is less socialisation and less client communication.
It can be quite intimidating for women, because you may have to ask questions and feel like you are bugging your fellow developers, but I think it's important to have that because eventually you realise that collaboration and being able to discuss problems is the key and it actually gets things done far quicker than people being stubborn and doing everything yourself.
Different people bring different strengths to the office environment, and I think having a mixture benefits the overall workings of the office. You need to have confidence and a good attitude to feel like you deserve to be there rather than having imposter syndrome. It's statistically more common with women to feel like this, but I think it's important to just put yourself out there in the first place.
Are you considering a career in tech but wondering how to get started? You’re not alone. We’re proud of our workforce and are consistently on the lookout for new talent to add to our team. Take a look at the current roles we have available and let’s help match you up with the career you’ve always wanted.