Girls rock. As far as the industry is concerned however, the first ladies of digital are on top of their game in management and marketing roles but there still remains a pretty stark gender divide when it comes to design and even more so in development.
Storm ID’s development team – who are responsible for programming everything from mobile apps to Facebook tabs, websites to databases – used be an all-boys club; an awesome all-boys club but nonetheless our team still didn’t represent the wealth of female development talent that’s capable of reshaping the industry.
That was, until Valerie arrived. Valerie’s talent for web development comes from a love of making things, a love of computer games and a love of drinking bucket loads of tea.
We’ll let the lady herself do the rest of the talking:
“I work in Storm ID’s support team as a web developer and it’s awesome.
“A regular day in my job works like this: write some code, break some code, fix some code, drink tea, write some tests, break some tests, fix some tests, drink tea, look at pictures of cats on the Internet… rinse, repeat.
“I got into development growing up playing video games. I was always curious about how computers worked. I didn’t properly pursue computer science until much later though at uni when I did an accountancy degree and absolutely hated it. I wanted to do something challenging, creative and interesting where every day is different – you certainly get that as a developer.
“You also get to take people’s ideas and dreams and make them into something real, something you’ve made with your own creativity, sweat and tears. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to sit back at the end of a project and think “Wow, I did that!”.
“Working in such a male dominated industry isn’t something I generally think about in my day to day work. It’s not the gender that’s important, it’s the being a geek part that counts! Most male devs treat me like I’m one of the guys anyway so I don’t really notice a gender divide.
“When I started uni, I knew nothing. All of the guys were so much more clued up than me and I had to work really hard to catch up. When I did though, I was so much more passionate, driven and hardworking that I totally overtook them and in the end they were coming to me for help. I got the best marks in my year and various awards, even though I started off knowing less than nothing. So that’s my advice – work hard, be passionate, be driven and show the guys what you can do!”
Like what Valerie had to say and want to say hi? Of course you can – @vgibson