My Journey Into Software Engineering

Written by Priyanka Patel
June 23rd 2021

2 minute read

To celebrate International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), I’ve been invited to write about my own journey into software engineering and share some insights around my education, career and what today means to me.

What is International Women in Engineering Day?
Now in its 8th year, INWED is an international awareness campaign that raises the profile of women in engineering and their achievements, helping to encourage women to consider engineering careers. This years’ focus is #EngineeringHeroes.

What is your current role?
I work in web development as a Server-Side Engineer, in simple terms, I work with code that runs in the backend technologies of digital products.

What does INWED mean to you?
Being in a field which is mainly male dominated, I think it’s so important to have a day like today that highlights woman in the industry and the amazing work they do. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the different opportunities available and to encourage more women to consider a role within the industry.

How did you get into Software Engineering?
It was never an industry I thought I’d get into as a child, having very little knowledge that these sorts of careers even existed. I’d say my interest in technology began in my IT classes in secondary school where I enjoyed the process of creating small stickman animations and a website without writing any code, at the time using Adobe Dreamweaver.

I decided to study IT at college, my main focus was on hardware, with some time spent on some software applications, but I found myself more curious and interested in the software side of things. I found it fascinating to learn  how it was created and I wanted to to be able to create my own applications, it was this fascination that drove me to study a computer science degree at university. My studies into programming weren’t always straightforward but I really loved that sense of achievement of realising a solution and getting programs to perform certain tasks.

What do you enjoy most about software engineering?
I love that  I’m constantly learning and growing as a developer/engineer by working on a range of different projects and with so many emerging technologies. I have the chance to create things that actual people can use, solving problems to make digital experiences better. Every day is a bit different and there is always something new to learn.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into software engineering?
I’d definitely recommend anyone looking at career options to be open to careers in engineering, technology, science, or mathematics. For any women reading this, you may find something interesting that you hadn’t thought about before, so it’s worth doing lots of research.

Be sure to explore the different pathways within software engineering to find the area or programming language you are interested in, learn the basics and experiment by starting your own mini projects. It’s okay if things don’t work the first time around, problem solving is all about experimentation, keep trying and always look for ways to improve your programs.

Who are your software engineering heroes?
There are so many people I could list here that have inspired me, from Ada Lovelace who is considered to have written the first computer program, to Grace Hopper and her brilliant work in computer programming to create the first compilers.

A more current software engineering hero for me is Julia Liuson who was one of the first developers to work on the Visual Studio project in its early days and she is now Corporate Vice President of Visual Studio at Microsoft. This particular piece of technology is specifically .NET so it’s really inspiring to know that a woman has played a major role in developing the tools and frameworks I use day-to-day.

I am also really grateful to have the chance to work with some amazing developers and engineers at MMT Digital too, they all inspire me every day to become a better software engineer.

At MMT Digital we're going through a period of exciting growth and we currently have lots of open software engineering roles, if you're looking for the next move in your career, you can view them here.

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