Tell us a little bit about you

Hi I’m Abi, I’m originally from Kent but currently living in Hackney and I’m a Junior Developer at Picnic. I’ve been at Picnic since July 2020 and this is my first role as a developer after completing my software engineering bootcamp at General Assembly! Prior to this I worked in social media and marketing and also did some graphic design on the side.

Describe your role at Picnic

The tech team at Picnic is made up of just myself and the lead developer so I have a great balance between lots of responsibility and also space for personal development and learning. My day-to-day tasks include working with our Account Managers to build ad creatives and also developing new tools for internal and external use. My role is full stack so every day is different! On Monday I might build a slack bot to send feedback from our website to the Product team and on Tuesday I might be adding new components to our Picnic Component Library.

What do you like best about your role?

Because of the nature of Picnic, I have been given the opportunity to build tools from start to finish and have them signed off and used within the company in the same day! It’s very exciting! There’s also lots of freedom to make the role my own and contribute to the way the tech team works. We are constantly evolving and looking for ways to improve.

Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to a woman considering a career in software engineering?

I would say go for it! A great place to start is finding a community of people who are at the same stage as you (or a little further ahead) so that you can go through the process together, and get some helpful advice along the way. I was lucky to have so many amazing people in my bootcamp class who inspired and supported me everyday and we still check in with each other a year later. Develop Her, She Can Code and Women Who Code are all great organisations to look into. I also volunteered as a teacher on the Code First Girls 8-week Web Development course which I'd recommend signing up to if you're just starting out, or volunteering as a teacher if you're a bit more experienced.

What are your passions outside of work?

Outside of work I run a feminist instagram illustration business with my best friend called Miss Gloria Design. We started in 2017 after leaving university, not really knowing what we were doing but feeling compelled to respond to the #MeToo movement that was currently going on. We started creating illustrations and posting them on Instagram and it took off from there! We focus on women’s rights and body positivity as well as social issues such as period poverty, racism and sex education. It’s great to have something outside of work that drives me and I’m so lucky to work on it with my best friend of 10 years!

How have you kept healthy and positive during lockdown?

The last year has been a lot. I feel like I’m only just starting to properly process everything that has happened and understand the magnitude of what the world has gone through. I heard someone say that we’re in a collective state of shock and that really resonated with me and reminded me that it’s completely ok to have off days. To stay happy and positive I paint, cook long comforting dinners and do lots of Yoga With Adriene!

Finally, tell us something about yourself that some people may not know.

I used to compete in national chess competitions when I was at primary school! I’m actually thinking of getting back into it - such a great game!