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Insights into tech careers and courses with Code First Girls

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital, Gender Pay Gap, Inclusion and diversity, Recruitment, STEM career

The IPO is actively seeking to recruit more women into specialist STEM roles to reduce our gender pay gap and remove unintended barriers for all our women. 

One of the ways we’re doing this is by working with Code First Girls to implement a series of 8-week courses running in February and March and places on their Nanodegree programme.

Insight into User Centred Design panel

Code First Girls describe themselves as ‘dedicated to transforming tech by providing the skills, space and inspiration for women to become cutting edge developers and future leaders’. Their mission is to transform tech by encouraging women to join the programme, which provides them with the skills and inspiration they might need on their journey. 

Emma Thomas, Head of Service Design at the IPO, spoke at the ‘Insight into user-centred design’ MOOC. She explained how she enjoyed putting together the presentation for the course.

Emma Thomas, Head of Service Design

“It gave the team a chance to focus on why we’re so passionate about our profession.” 

Because we could regroup, the presentation came together really nicely, telling our story and promoting the work our team does within the IPO. We were all really proud to have been asked to take part. We wanted to make sure it was a success, not just for our team but also for Code First Girls and the great work they do.

“Go for the job you like the look of”

Although job descriptions for tech roles can often include lots of technical requirements, Emma explained that instead of focusing on each skill, it’s more important to just try something new. 

I went to a great careers event recently around women in tech. The one thing that I took away from that was to put my hand up more, put your name down for something new - go for that job you like the look of. You might not have all the skills and experiences listed on the job advert, but if you can meet most of them - go for it.

“I've been fortunate to have landed some great roles in my career within the IPO, and each of them has given me the transferable skills to do the role I do today. But I had to be brave and put my hand up.

“GOV.UK has changed the way people interact with government services” 

Emma has been part of the organisation’s One IPO Transformation programme – a five-year plan to upgrade services for our users. She described what excited her about  the future of service design at the IPO:  

I love the collaborative culture across government which has led to this change. I am excited to see how the far One IPO Transformation programme will go in developing our services.

Viktoria Hatton, a Junior DevOps Engineer spoke at our ‘Insight into DevOps’ MOOC

 She joined the IPO during her year in industry during her degree. Since then, she has stayed at the IPO part time. Flexible working has enabled her to finish  her degree simultaneously.

Viktoria Hatton, Junior DevOps Engineer at the IPO
Viktoria Hatton, Junior DevOps Engineer

Viktoria explained how the MOOC went: 

I spoke about what being a DevOps Engineer entails and shared a bit about my career at the IPO so far. I really enjoyed talking about what a great opportunity it has been and how it has developed both my IT and DevOps skills. I also enjoyed sharing that extra insight into DevOps, as not many people know what it is.

“I got into DevOps for the challenge, and it has definitely lived up to all my expectations.” 

Since starting her career, Viktoria has found that adaptability is one of the most important skills to have: 

Being able to pick up new errors and problems, and then solving them individually or with the team is very important. If I couldn’t adapt to new challenges, then I might struggle to complete tasks to the best of my ability.

DevOps is a career which can offer something different every day, and the range of tasks that can arise isn’t always thought about when considering a role in tech. 

You can be working with a range of people, or working on your own, whether it’s fixing errors on Pipelines or within code- each day is something different.

Insight into DevOps panel

Your future in tech

If you or anyone you know are interested in a career in tech, or would like to improve your coding skills, take a look at our upcoming classes with Code First Girls starting soon. 

The eight-week courses consist of one class a week and topics include web development, python and apps and data and SQL. 

If you complete a course with Code First Girls, you are eligible to sign up to our Nanodegree programme. At the end of the programme, there’s the opportunity to apply for an entry level tech position at the IPO. 

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