I have a confession. I suck at keeping up with things. I get excited by ideas. I start but I never seem to maintain it. I’m curious and get excited by the next idea and try something new. Maybe this is part of my#startupkid DNA?
I like spinning lots of plates. I like being involved in lots of things but in doing so I don’t seem to focus. I’m very lucky to always get awesome opportunities come my way but to do justice to these opportunities I’ve got to learn to say no.
At the start of the year I started a little project called #startupkid, a simple blog to tell stories of cool people i’ve come across doing awesome stuff but I’ve realised there really is no point making it a separate blog and putting pressure on myself so the handful of interviews are conducted have now been integrated into my main blog.
So where have I been? What have I been up too? Well a lot.
I’ve now been working at Makers Academy for over 7 months and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart that it was one of the best career decisions I’ve made. I’ve always been passionate about digital skills, education technology and changing lives and Makers Academy defo does that. In the time I’ve been there I’ve seen 120 students graduate and then go onto work in some amazing companies like Deloitte Digital. Seeing people go from some very random backgrounds anything from police officers to plumbers and becoming developers by learning to code in 12 weeks is pretty inspiring. We are now in the process of scaling our offline course to an online remote version called Ronin. This is pretty exciting because it’ll make the course much more affordable but also allow people in the most random places of the world to become developers.
I’ve got to dabble a bit in the pre-course material, I now know how to operate git and terminal. I can make changes on the website, I understand user experience stuff much more and I can push to github. I now want to learn more! What is very exciting though is that at Makers Academy we are moving to something called the Teal Management Structure which came out of a book called Reinvention Organisations.
This is pretty exciting but scary. My startup experience had generally made me autonomous but this pushes me to do more and better. Anyway this change made me more confident to push a simple idea. I’ve realised with the all the things I do, learning ends up being the thing that I never get time to do. I’ve become pretty comfortable and when you get to a point like that, it’s time to shake things up. So now I have dedicated 2 hours a week in my diary to learn to code. I don’t have a burning desire to become a programmer but I do have a desire to become more technical and be able to create more technical marketing content but to do that I need to learn! I was fully supported by the team to do this but most importantly I’ve asked my team at every team-lunch to hold me accountable and I’ll do the same for anyone else that is interesting in blocking out 2 hours in their diary. The thing I like most about Makers Academy is the trust and extreme transparency we have. Most organisations don’t work like this and I sometimes do wonder and question if I’m getting spoilt because I may struggle to work in a traditional more corporate kind of organisations but I guess then I could be the beacon of change in them?.
Women in Tech
I’ve got to go to some really cool events recently but one of the coolest was the International Women’s Day summit at the Google offices. It was really inspiring hearing from the various women about their experiences but time and time again us women forget we worked just hard, we just tell people that “we got lucky” I’ve wrote before about the imposter syndrome that is often suffered in this industry but one really awesome thing about the technology industry is how supportive women are of other women a complete contrast to the all girls school I went too! Anyway a mentoring programme has launched recently that I’m hoping I get into too, working in a male dominated environment is a lot of banter but at times it can be pretty challenging with all those egos! Sometimes if I try be assertive I sometimes question if I’m coming across bitchy? I prob am not but I can’t help but question it. I want to get far in the tech industry but I don’t want to become a man or lose my femininity in doing so.
Last but not least you all know that me and Spark+Mettle go way back. I was on the first cohort for the Star Track programme, I then went onto co-found Discoverabels and Up which actually led to my accidental entrance into the world of tech. I gained so much through this charity so now it’s time for me to give back so I’m excited to announce that I’m now officially youth trustee! This is pretty exciting as I get to stay involved in all things Spark+Mettle. Anyway our fellowship programme is now open for applications so if you’re 18–24 year olds and want help to launch your dream career then apply now.