I now feel like I must have been one of the few people my age in the country who went out and played after school. I didn’t have a mobile phone until I was 11 and even then it was a massive hand-me-down BT phone with £5 credit on (only to be used in case of emergency). Tech kids were playing Xbox or Playstation aged 10 and I was running around in trainers and baggy jumpers with my mates, seeing who could blow the biggest bubble with Hubba Bubba. Going to university I studied History and Business Management where I read books (ones you hold in your hand - not read online) and wrote down my notes with some good old fashioned pen and paper.
Three years on and I find myself working in a premium digital agency with the most techy people I’ve ever met! I’ve been repeatedly taught what a server is and seem to be the only person in the office who uses the printer. I own an MP3 player, not an iPod and I have no idea what the storyline of Star Wars is. So how do you cope as a non-tech girl in a tech-savvy business? I thought you’d never ask…
1. If you don’t know just ask - it’s better to learn than to sit there unsure.
2. Google is your best friend. You can get a lot of answers out of Google even if it’s recapping over your training - just google it!
3. Accept that you’re not going to get the tech humour and also accept that your team are probably not going to care who got voted out of Love Island last night.
4. Make a tech friend. One you can ask your stupid questions to and who (fingers crossed) won’t tell anyone else how much of a newb (Ed. n00b, surely?) you are.
5. Embrace what makes you a great part of the business. You’re not there to teach other people about coding; you’re there to think outside the box, to come up with ideas and make those ideas fly.
I think the best advice I can give about entering a technical company is to persist. It seems difficult to start with because there’s so much information to take in. You’re stepping out of your comfort zone and that feels scary. But once you crack the code (excuse the pun) you feel a real sense of achievement. If you’d have told me 6 months ago I’d be deploying to websites, amending code and implementing content management system, I would have thought you were crazy. But here I am, having learnt so much and with so much more to learn. Who knows where I’ll be in another 6 months...