Our academies help people from underrepresented groups pursue a career in the technology sector, and for our recent Women in Software Academy graduate, Francesca, it achieved just that.

The 11-week programme is an accelerated learning pathway covering modules including Python, Agile and JavaScript, to help women secure their first role in Software.
Francesca joined our Women in Software Academy in August while working in a restaurant, however, since graduating has secured a role as an Engineering Project Manager and now uses her new skills as part of her daily tasks.

Here’s what Francesca had to say about her TechTalent Academy journey…

What were you doing before you started the course?

Before I joined the Women in Software Academy I was working in a pub/restaurant, saving up money while looking for more of a career. My original plan was to go travelling but obviously that’s out of the picture for now.

Why did you decide to join?

I studied sound engineering as part of my degree however we didn’t go into much detail from a coding point of view, using only MATLAB and Max MSP. I’m very interested in audio programming in addition to all things Cyber Security and code/puzzle related, therefore, thought that the Women in Software Academy would be a great way to mix them together.

What did you think of the training? How did it help you?

I found an engineering-based role after I completed the Women in Software Academy, with my first project being a Cyber Security project. The Agile module really helped my understanding of how the workflow is etc. I also really appreciated how much easier it is to learn from someone who has experience in the field.

I had tried to self-teach C++ however I couldn’t overcome the hurdle of understanding classes and functions, but my Trainer helped develop my understanding. I can now teach myself extra things that I may need to learn for future development.

Since completing the training, I have been lucky enough to find myself a job. The Talent Team was very helpful during my course and provided support with how to improve my job profile for GitHub and LinkedIn. They also supported with my CV by showing me what was important to include/exclude.

What module did you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed the Cyber Security modules, including the work with Immersive Labs, as it was very enjoyable and what I like to do in my spare time! I’ve always loved challenging puzzles and things such as the GCHQ books therefore having similar tasks which are relevant to day-to-day life was exciting and interesting for me.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m enjoying my current role as an Engineering Project Manager as it gives me the opportunity to work with code and software, in addition to engineering and quality processes, it combines multiple interests of mine.

I also enjoy working within the rail industry as it’s very clear how my work helps people – I can see the products of my work in the real world rather than simply working with a client who you may never see post-project completion. In the future, I’d like to work in audio programming, for now I’m improving my C++ skills to develop my skills and improve my confidence so that I can confidently complete tasks independently.

Do you have any tips/advice for people who want to learn to code?

Just go for it! I have always been interested in coding however in school and sixth form, I was surrounded by boys who had gained a lot of coding experience, which I found daunting as a female beginner coder. This meant that I didn’t push myself or focus on it as much as I’d have liked.

We still have spaces on our part-time Women in Software Academy starting January 2021. Register your interest today to turn your passion for software into a rewarding career.