You may have read Carly’s story on here earlier in the year and we had to get her on here again as she has an update. After knowing Carly for a little while, we are so happy and excited that she is changing direction and has been given the opportunity to develop her technical skills a bit more by attending a 12 week intensive technical academy through her employer – the brilliant Nationwide Building Society, a company where every single person supports and encourages diversity in every sense of the word.
Carly is keen to share her journey, in an honest, open and non-corporate-y way, with the aim of showing people what these things are really like, and hopefully encourage people to consider starting/moving to a career in tech.
I genuinely care about getting people from different backgrounds into tech, and understand that it can sometimes appear a closed off, intimidating and often confusing community. I want to try and remove a layer or two (or more!) of the mystery, and show how interesting, challenging, (and fun!) tech can be. Be the change you want to see and all that…
I work for Nationwide Building Society in the UK (we’re like a bank but better)*. And like most financial institutions, we’re having to totally re-evaluate the technology we’re using, to make sure it’s fit for the future. And establish new ways of working, to help us keep up with the pace of change. One of the things Nationwide has done as part of this process is create a 12 week intensive technical academy, in partnership with the training provider QA, aimed at people just starting out their careers in tech (including career changers) and those that might already work in tech, but want an introduction to some of the newer technologies, or want to gain a more hands on understanding.
I fall in to the latter category – I’ve been working in a technical environment for the past 7 years**. I’ve had various roles including Computer Operator, IT Operations Manager, Performance Test Lead, and Senior Tech Specialist (Payments). The one thing they’ve all had in common is that I was working predominantly with legacy technology, and I ended up working with quite a high level view, and with a focus on governance. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the legacy stuff, things are rarely as easy as they seem and every day is a challenge, but times are changing, and that tech isn’t going to be around for ever. And governance is really REALLY important, but it doesn’t set my heart on fire. So, here I am.
Assuming you want to stick around and follow my journey, I’ll introduce myself a bit more. When I’m not at work I enjoy DIY, gardening (landscaping, we’ve just built a patio – I’m rubbish at the flowers and plants bit), cars, makeup, clothes, sewing, shoes, Studio Ghibli, I’m trying to practice taking more (and better!) pictures, and I collect guidebooks from all the museums that I visit. I’m really interested in the tech industry, particularly when it’s focused on social good, or environmental concerns, but I don’t tend to code/do tech work in my spare time very often. I’m also a Governor at a regional Further Education college that has a strong focus on technology. A pretty random and eclectic mix, but to be fair I think that’s how my friends would describe me.
In a bid to not just aimlessly move from one role to the next, I’ve had a think about the areas that I really enjoy and any specific skillset I can utilise to focus my direction. I’ve realised that I really enjoy the area of IT Operations and Security, and work really well in typically stressful situations (i.e. incident response), so over the next 12 months, I’ve set myself the following goals (in addition to completing the Technical Academy obvs):
- Attempt the Google Capture The Flag event 2020
- Speak at a conference
- Volunteer at Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) camp 2020
- Investigate roles in DevOps and Security
- Finish watching all of the Studio Ghibli collection (because taking a break is important too)
If you’re interested in following how I get on, I’ll be blogging, vlogging, tweeting and ‘gramming using the handles below. Questions, messages of support, and cute animal pics are always welcome!
Twitter: @CarlyInTech https://twitter.com/carlyintech
Instagram: @CarlyInTech https://www.instagram.com/carlyintech/?hl=en
Youtube: Carly In Tech https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqjp9hsqGmM9uldVF9OAVSg
*Opinions are totally 100% my own.
**It’s worth noting that I didn’t start out working in tech, in fact I hated it in school (but that’s back when it was taught as ICT – Microsoft Publisher anyone?!). I did my Bachelors in International Politics, and then after a few years of working in research, I did my Masters in Environmental Health, specialising in infectious disease control and epidemiology (it’s a very long story).
And all of the above is why we created Women Rock to share peoples journeys, their careers (and not the typical ‘tech’ career path) the challenges, I’m sure Carly will agree probably the stresses but most importantly the successes.
We will be following and supporting you on your journey, thank you for sharing and hopefully others who have a similar interest will follow in your footsteps.
a voice of diversity in tech.