From zero knowledge to a mid-level Developer in 2.5 years; here’s Clare…
‘Is a career in software development for you?’
What’s your career journey been like up until now?
It’s been a whirlwind to say the least! My introduction was back in August 2015 when I joined on the Software Engineering Apprenticeship. At that time I didn’t know how to code or anything about programming! Fast forward two and a half years and I’ve worked on projects such as the releases of Sky Q and Sky Mobile, not to mention all the great stuff we do in Help!
I was recently promoted to a mid-level Developer, so I’m also dipping my toes into line management now too. I’m loving my experience here as I never know what’s around the corner!
What does a typical day working here look like for you?
My day starts quite early; I aim to get to work between 7:30-8am. I generally catch up on anything that took place after I left work the night before and then start on whichever ticket I’m working on at that time.
My team has stand up around 10am so we generally just work up to this time, with the odd trip to the café thrown in. After stand up is generally the time that most meetings begin, so I’ll check my calendar to see what my day looks like, this gives me a good overview of how much of my ticket I’ll get to work on that day, and at lunch I will generally head over to the gym with some of my colleagues.
If you’ve been here over one year, how have you made a difference in your role?
Since I started in Help in February 2016 we have done some amazing work for our customers experience while they are on www.sky.com/help. Over the time I’ve been in the team we’ve released Help v2, which was a Sky Pages application, navigated through tiles and panels, and most recently Help 3.0.
We’re moving towards personalising our customers’ journeys. Letting them be in control of how they search for help, by search bar, buttons or quick links ensures that the customer has a smooth experience and can navigate at their own ability.
What’s been your proudest moment since working here?
Other than my graduation with a Distinction through Sky Early Careers, it’s definitely the most recent project I worked on.
As well as online help, our teams also look after broadband, and over the past year we have built Future Assurance View, which is for both customers and advisors in the call centres to help diagnose what is wrong with a person’s broadband and then directing them on how they can self-serve, without the need to call Sky to fix an issue.
In January this year, we were told the system would be changing significantly. I became Lead Developer on this project, working alongside my colleague, Sam. We successfully accommodated the new system, as well as ensuring that the current one still worked too. It was challenging, mainly because I’m a front-end developer, and this was a back-end project, but this made it all the more interesting and enjoyable. When we went live with this project it was one of my proudest moments as I was so proud at how our small team had achieved such a huge migration with very little side effects!
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job?
I love that the work’s always changing and evolving and that we’re constantly challenging ourselves to improve our products.
Describe your work/life balance?
To aid my work/life balance I make sure that my phone’s switched off out of working hours, my phone’s always pinging!
I think it’s also important to make sure you leave the office on a lunchtime. I generally go to the gym or walking into Leeds city centre to hit the reset button.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Don’t worry if you think you’re not doing as well as you could be, this is just self-doubt! You’re great at what you do or else you wouldn’t be doing it. My advice is to keep learning and developing yourself – you’ll be flying through the ranks in no time!
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you?
In 2017 I was on Code First:Girls Ones to Watch list, and this gave me the confidence to do public speaking and start my own blog (clarecodes.com).