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First Journeyman Dinner

Great evening at the WCIT Journeyman Dinner, it’s great that a charitable and well established livery company and the men and women who make it so great, care so much about mentoring the younger members! Very appreciated and I look forward to giving back how I can too!

If you’re interested in learning more about the WCIT, then feel free to get in contact or check out their website 🤓

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Mimo App

I was thinking about how I could expand my coding knowledge in my spare time, without having to sit at a computer to learn.

So I took a look at the “learn to code” apps on the Apple App Store, and after trying out a few I found that the reviews and the ease of use is in the Mimo App.

So give it a go – it may be for you 🤓 📱

TechCrunch did a great article on their opinion of it: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/19/mimos-new-app-teaches-you-how-to-code-on-your-iphone/?guccounter=1

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Good Morning

How are you feeling ready for this week ahead?

My morning routine usually consists of a cup of tea and a scroll through social media, like a true millennial, before cracking down on the To Do lists I set myself containing both personal and professional tasks. What’s your routine and do you feel it’s working?

Be the best version of yourself this week 💪🏻

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2018 Graduate 👩🏻‍🎓

Was so amazing to graduate yesterday with all my family, friends and professors by my side who have supported me the whole way!

Off to my new jobs’ social tomorrow to meet the other graduates, such an amazing week marking the end and a beginning! 👩🏻‍🎓

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Life + Code

Take a look at Bekah Hawrot Weigal’s blog Life + Code… or follow her on Twitter @BekahHW

Learn about her personal reason of why she codes: https://bekahhw.github.io/blog/2018/04/23/How-coding-has-been-therapeutic-for-my-PTSD

And see here for a beginner explanation of html, CSS and JavaScript: https://bekahhw.github.io/blog/2018/04/13/The-House-that-Code-Built

I’ve found Bekah’s blog and articles included in this post, to be both inspiring and empowering!

Keep doing what you’re doing Bekah 💪🏻👩‍💻

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Throwback to School

I visited my high school the other day and it was such a surreal experience to think I’d left 4 years ago, but really it hadn’t felt like I’d left at all. Seeing my tutor and the Heads of A-level was so great to catch up with them, still the same old humour and supportiveness that I’d received at school.

I’d learnt that last year my school was unable to continue IT A-level because it had stopped existing by the exam board and because there wasn’t enough IT teachers to cover it, but they informed me that they are going to be bringing it back to my high school as a BTEC course. I’m so glad they’ve decided to bring it back because I personally felt that it was limiting the students, if I was a student there I probably wouldn’t have gone elsewhere for A-levels just because they’d stopped that one subject and it may not have led to what I’ve achieved over the last 4 years and the excitement I’ve found in IT and STEM.

With a lot of changes recently in government and the change to GCSEs, it’s left educators even more so chasing paperwork than concentrating on actual educating. I know the government are trying to entice STEM teacher training, but why would the majority of STEM graduates choose teaching over industry if the starting salary is at least £5K a year more in industry. I know it’s not all about money, but to live comfortable after university and be able to afford a house within several years, industry has to be chosen. Personally, I do want to go into teaching at some point in my career, but I want to gain industry experience before I do.

It can also be said that the people in charge of the curriculums do not understand STEM subjects (flashback to Mark Zukerberg’s hearing about Facebook) and the constant changing and innovation within them, this is why it’s hard to teach them because there’s so much content to cover… maybe they could and should, be split even further?

Regardless, of how STEM is being told to be taught or being taught, it’s apparent that it’s becoming more of a priority. 🤓

What else do you think the government or schools themselves can do to engage more students in STEM?

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Imposter Syndrome

by Sarah Lewis

I was at a couple of tradeshows earlier this week and attended Women in Technology events and almost all the conversations I had were around imposter syndrome.  It really does affect more people than we realise, me included.

The term was coined in 1978 by clinical psychologist Pauline R Clance and Suzanne A Imes and is a concept which describes people who have an persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.  People who exhibit the syndrome dismiss proof of success by claiming it was luck, timing or even making people think they are more intelligent or competent than they are.

I was introduced to this concept of the syndrome was about 7 years ago while having a session with a career coach.  I was trying to explain my lack of desire to progress my career further.  After chatting, we realised that this apparent lack of ambition was due to my fear of being discovered as a fraud.  The career coach promptly told me that almost every executive he had worked with felt like that from time to time, especially very successful women.

Just that one explanation had a massive effect on me, I wasn’t alone! So I started to look at myself, my career and my personal life and decided to make a change starting with “It’s time to fake it til I make it”.

I still class myself as being on the road to recovery but I wanted to share some of the tips that I wish someone had shared with me way back when.

1. Take time to learn and grow

It is not easy to take time out when we have such busy work and home lives but I found that taking the time to learn something new, work on a skill, understand the business better gave me more confidence and helped me to accept some of my weaker areas.  Strengths Finder is a great book to help this process.

2. Do not compare yourself to others.

I am fortunate to work with some amazingly strong, confident women and would always compare myself to those ladies.  I wasn’t as eloquent, I wasn’t as technical, I wasn’t as good at presenting etc etc.  So, instead of comparing yourself to others, look at your own strengths and focus on those.  You are good at what you do because you are you, and you don’t have to be anyone else.

3. Find a mentor

If you are lucky enough to find a mentor who you respect and admire and who believes in you, you are on to a winner.  You just have to remember, not to try and “be” them and to accept those compliments you are bound to receive.  Please don’t fall into the trap of excusing successes as “lucky breaks” or “team work” – another classic Imposter Syndrome symptom.

4. Learn as you go

There is nothing wrong with taking on a project and feeling out of your depth.  You are smart, you are talented – there is no reason why you cannot research, learn and practice as you go. You’d be amazed how many women just “fell into” tech roles and do not have a tech based education – please don’t let the lack of a technical degree damage your confidence.

5. Speak Out

It’s ok to talk to people about how you are feeling.  Try talking about your imposter feelings, it can help.  I discovered so many women in my circle feel the same way as I do and it really helped me feel less alone.  Try it out!

I’m not psychologist nor an expert on this subject but I hope that some of my tried and tested techniques give you some food for thought.

You can find more of my ramblings as well as curated news from around the web and details on our events at https://twitter.com/TheTechieGirls

Sarah Lewis is Director Field Marketing at Ivanti and the spearhead for Ivanti’s Women in Technology movement.  Sarah started off her tech career in an internal IT support role, moving on into IT Asset Management and was finally lured away into a marketing role where she happily combines technical knowledge with a sprinkle of creativity and indulges in her passion for supporting the women in technology community.

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Why Don’t We Learn About STEM Vocations?

Growing up there is a lot you are taught to aspire to and careers that you go through phases of wanting to do (including become a fairy princess and cowboy…obviously feasible!) but, often these jobs don’t include STEM roles.

Even at school, the qualifications that are taught are mostly humanities subjects (History, English, Geography…). You have science and mathematics, and now compulsory IT, where theory is taught but these aren’t very encouraging to young people to inspire them to pursue it, consequently, people choose not to and often exclaim things such as “I hate maths”… trust me though, I didn’t like maths either. But likewise, I didn’t really enjoy IT at school either because the school system is so behind what real life was already teaching me, as part of my ICT GCSE I was asked to produce a flyer in Microsoft Publisher… which I already knew how to do since I first went on a PC when I was 10, yet 6 years on it was a piece of coursework.

The problem is that the curriculum doesn’t reflect nor prepare children for real life anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love and still love school! One day I want to pursue teaching in some aspect. But I think it’s time for the government to catch up, children these days can lookup anything they want to learn on Google and can code better than the teachers. So instead of boring them and pushing them away from STEM subjects, why aren’t we showing them what they could do with those skills?

Of course children need to learn the basics and be well-rounded, but how about also asking them what they are interested in doing and giving them options. Maybe even create a mandatory subject for children to learn about different careers available to them and explaining how they can achieve it.

Some kids are lucky, my boyfriend knew he wanted to be a pilot from the age of 6, when he flew a lot to visit his grandparents in Berlin. But I wouldn’t have known at that age I wouldn’t have known at all that IT was the career path for me, unless my teacher at school had pushed me to look into it.

School should be a place for learning about current, real life, as well as theory, otherwise you end up with people wishing they’d chosen a different path.