I hadn’t really heard of testing as a career when I was younger. I studied Computer Science at university, but we never really did any testing – it was only when I was working and I fell into it, that I realised how much I enjoyed it.
Tech is a male-dominated area, which is a shame; I think a lot of women don’t know much about the industry, or they think it’s boring because of how it’s sometimes portrayed. I think that couldn’t be further from the truth! IT is our world, it’s the future, and it’s such an exciting area to work in.
I’ve volunteered as a STEM ambassador to try and encourage more children and young people to consider careers in technology. As a STEM ambassador you go into school and talk about the work that you do, and give students exercises to get them interested and engaged. In the past we’ve given the students 8 weeks to build something, and then come back and judged the winners. They build such interesting things and have really bright ideas! Our job is to show them that they could do this in the real world and pursue these opportunities if they wanted to. There’s a lot to do in IT, and we need girls and women to be a part of it too.
I’ve worked in organisations where there’s only been one woman in the entire team (and that was me). I’ve also worked at places where I’ve felt that the men were trying to be superior and I’ve struggled to be heard. But at Scott Logic it feels totally different – I’ve never before felt this motivated and enthusiastic. They’re always pushing you, and giving you challenges because they believe in you. And because you feel respected and valued, you do respond to that challenge.
At Scott Logic I feel like you can go and talk to anyone, and people love to share knowledge. For example, Will, one of the UX Leads, was doing workshops with us and explaining how our brains think when it comes to user experience. And that got me thinking, why not relate this to testing? And that’s how I got to writing about Testing with Cognitive Intelligence.
I’m a person who loves to learn, and I want to explore opportunities and new areas within testing. To give another example – soon after starting at Scott Logic, I picked up something in-house and automated it. If you’re working for a company that doesn’t value or respect you, it wouldn’t occur to you to do this. But because I felt supported and knew that I was working for a company that wanted me to succeed, I had the confidence to do it. When I presented it to Laurence, who is the Head of Testing, he was surprised that I’d done it, but pleased. It’s that kind of culture which makes all the difference.