I’ve been a software engineer for the last 15 months (for more on my experience on the Guardian’s Digital Fellowship, see here).

Photo by Nick Owuor (astro.nic.visuals) on Unsplash

I’ve been failing a lot recently

Sometimes failing quietly and sometimes failing in very public ways at work.

I recently had my first incident retro where my actions caused the incident (an incident retro is where you get together with your colleagues and understand why something went wrong and what you can do to prevent it in the future).

I’ve also recently received some feedback from a senior colleague highlighting where my fear of failure is dampening my growth potential.

Fear of failure and…


for new developers who might be interested in applying

A number of software engineers have reached out to me who are interested in joining the Guardian. I thought it might be helpful to write my answers down so that everyone who is interested can benefit from them.

I spoke at ffconf 2019 about my experience being self-taught. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvgGcXuvLPs

The Guardian’s digital fellowship is an annual programme open to people early in their software engineering career from all backgrounds. I don’t have a CS degree and didn’t do a bootcamp, so it’s open to us who are self-taught too! …


The power of being on your period

I just finished reading Maisie Hill’s Period Power. Wow! What a read! Maisie completely enlightened me about the power of understanding our own unique menstrual cycles. I now have a basic awareness of the four seasons of the cycle and the super powers they bring.

I’ve been working full time as a Software Engineer for 5 months and recently have noticed significant changes to how I feel whilst menstruating. I’m so glad I found Maisie’s book to shed some much needed light.

A must read!

I’m no stranger to pain whilst menstruating.

I’ve been ambulanced to hospital after collapsing in a London train…


Junior software engineers from under-represented groups should feel ok focusing on their technical work.

I recently got my first software engineering job. As someone from an under-represented group in tech, I’m constantly reminded of the inequalities in access to the web development industry. Of 80 developers in my department, I am one of few women, one of two mothers and I may be the only black woman (the department doesn’t track data on this yet).

This balance feels wrong to me. It feels unjust. I don’t understand why this job, which can be done by anyone with the passion for it, clearly has weighted access to a certain type of person. …


No, you’re not starting from square one!

So, you’ve started learning one programming language, maybe Ruby, JavaScript or Python and now you would like to move onto your second. There are lots of reasons you might want to do this.

Maybe there is a job or a bootcamp you would like to apply for and you need a particular language for it. Maybe you want to try something new just for fun. For whatever reason, I would like to reassure you that you are most definitely not starting from square one!

All of the learning you have done in your first programming language are very likely transferable…


The experience of a junior developer

What is the Guardian’s Digital Fellowship?

The fellowship is for budding software engineers who are looking for an entry level position. It’s open to people who have taught themselves how to code, have done a bootcamp or have any other route into tech.

Me with my staff badge yo!

It’s a competitive scheme and not surprisingly given so few companies offer such high quality programmes. Successful candidates do a minimum of two rotations in different engineering teams over a one year period.

Their main goal is to learn as much as possible and they are given a designated mentor and lots of support to ensure this.

My first week

I was told a couple of…


After about 9 months teaching myself how to code, I have accepted an offer with the Guardian Newspaper to join their Digital Fellowship programme as an Associate Software Engineer.

In this article, I want to support readers who are already teaching themselves how to code or are considering it.

For others, I hope this article sheds some light on how we can support those trying to become engineers without bootcamps or formal education.

Thank you so much @HawraMilani for kindly taking this pic of me speaking at FullStackConf! ❤️

What does self-taught mean?

To me being a self taught engineer means that you haven’t completed any formal coding education, such as a bootcamp or a Computer Science degree. …


In this article, I give my advice to senior developers seeking to learn how to mentor more junior developers.

Thank you Brighton Ruby for inspiring this article!❤️❤️❤️

There are lots of senior developers out there who wonder what to do with their career after many years of experience.

They could go into management and their day would typically consist of lots of meetings with key stakeholders across their company.

They could consider consulting if they want to keep coding the majority of the time. There are many other alternatives too, but for now let’s focus on these two broad cases…


What I learnt from speaking at the Hamburg Ruby unconference

My first speaking appearance at a tech conference! Thank you Hamburg Ruby!

In May 2019 I spoke at my first tech conference. It was an unconference where attendees are able to propose talks at the beginning of the day and then all attendees vote to decide who they want to hear.

I had prepared a talk in advance, because I was keen to try speaking after having attended Global CFP Day, which supports underrepresented groups in tech to prepare talk proposals.

All in all I had a phenomenal experience, right from talk preparation to the feedback I received afterwards and all the…


Yesterday I had my first very public break-down during a coding workshop. In this article I want to discuss why I broke down and what you and I dear reader can both learn from this.

Burnout is real. Even for those at the earliest stages of their coding journey.

As a background, 6 months ago I started teaching myself how to code (for more on this see here). I got my first job soon after (see here) and yesterday, my first break down 🙂

Why I broke down

There are physical reasons why I broke down and a number of emotional ones too.

First, I had not slept well in many nights and I hadn’t even taken a…

Junior developer

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