Trainline – Susan Graham, Web Engineer

We interviewed Susan Graham, Web Engineer at Trainline on her thoughts and experience on women in tech.

1. What does your job role involve?

I work primarily doing front-end development on the Trainline website. My team focuses on improving all aspects of the user’s experience –  including the payment journey and my account section.

2. What made you choose a career in technology?

I found the idea of working in the tech industry really exciting – building new products, using cutting-edge technology and learning new things all the time. I liked the fact that to work a developer, you don’t need any particular qualifications or need to be from a specific background, as long as you can write good code. Also, the pay is great!

3. Did you study an IT or technology related subject at A-Level or University?

Not at all – I studied art subjects for A Level and politics at degree level.

4. Did you get any work experience in IT or technology before this role?

I did a 3-month developer bootcamp, where I learned about core programming principles and industry best-practices such as test-driven development, agile and pair-programming.

5. Do you think there is a lack of females in the IT and tech sector?

I think the tech industry still has some way to go in order to be more representative of society as a whole, including females. A more diverse tech workforce would mean that tech products would be created by, and for, everyone.

6. Do you find there is a stereotype that a career in IT or technology is just for men?

I think this used to be the case. But nowadays, there are so many initiatives to encourage women into tech, and lots of tech companies keen to hire women, that this stereotype is quickly becoming outdated.

7. What would entice women to study technology related courses?

Being more aware of the great opportunities out there – tech companies running initiatives where school kids spend a day in the office is a great way to start.

8. Are there barriers when it comes to women getting into tech?

Barriers might exist in some companies, but I’ve found that showing enthusiasm and competence has got me through the door.

9. How could we encourage more women to start a career in tech?

Encouraging women to attend tech meet-ups so they can get to know more about the varied nature of tech jobs and see the wide range of people who attend.

10. What advice would you give young women today at the start of their career?

Find a company where you’re suited to the culture, and make an effort to get to know your colleagues, socialise with them – they’ll be the ones who support you when you need it!