International Women’s Day: Don’t be afraid to discover new things

Katie is a member of the Apps for Good Fellowship and co-creator of Apps for Good Awards winning app, I’m Okay. Ahead of International Women’s Day Katie, and other girls from the Apps for Good Fellowship,  joined us for a Discover Careers in Tech session with Apps for Good Expert Jenny Fallover.  

Last Wednesday I was lucky enough to join an online session with the Fellowship and Jenny Fallover from Thomson Reuters to learn what it is like to work in tech, what skills we need to be successful and how to get into the tech industry. Here are my key takeaways from the session:

Nobody should feel they cannot do something because of who they are
I quickly learnt that Jenny didn’t initially plan to work in the tech industry and saw computing as a hobby, mainly because it was seen as a male dominated profession and, arguably, still is. Jenny made it very clear that there is no such thing as a male or female job and consolidated the idea that nobody should feel that they cannot do something because of who they are.

Discover what is out there and what you enjoy doing

There are many different kinds of career opportunities in tech, ranging from project manager to technical writer or software engineer. Jenny advised us to research and try out different opportunities, writing down what we like doing, what we would like in a future job and what our strengths are. 

Jenny reinforced the idea that we shouldn’t pigeonhole ourselves and I really agree with her; the tech industry is always changing and there are so many different opportunities in tech that we should try to not pass up an offer that could spark a path for our future. Jenny also suggested we seek opportunities to work with diverse teams, which can spark a variety of different ideas and inspire us to be creative!

I'm Okay
Katie with her I’m Okay teammates.

When seeking opportunities, it never hurts to ask!

When giving advice about finding work experience, Jenny emphasised that we should never be afraid to ask. Effective ways to gain work experience include sending letters and emails or walking into an office to ask. Employers are desperate for people in tech; Jenny recalled having three interviews and being offered a job in all three!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

When I asked which programming language would be the most useful to learn for a job, Jenny replied that it mostly depended on the type of job. However Java, python and HTML are very widely used.

I also learned that if you do have an idea don’t be afraid to use open source code or to ask for help, as there are many people who will be happy to review your code or check for bugs. GitHub is one website where you can easily find inspiration and collaborate on projects.

I really enjoyed this Fellows hangout session, it felt great to celebrate International Women’s Day by discussing the tech world with other girls and getting such great insights from Jenny.

Do you want to join in our next Fellows Hangout? Apps for Good students can join The Fellowship to discover future hangouts and many more opportunities.

Want to hear Jenny’s take on the session click here to read her blog.