Tell us a little bit about you.
I'm originally from Australia having moved almost 3 years ago now. Living in Sydney, I basically grew up on the beach - something I persevered with for 26 years even though I burn in about 10 seconds.
Having grown up, studied and worked in Sydney my entire life I wanted to make a change, so decided to make the jump to the UK. Since moving over, I've been able to travel extensively and really expand my horizons.
Describe your role at Picnic.
The Programmatic Solutions Manager is part of a new department at Picnic, and in essence the role is to be a full-time problem solver. I'll be working with the account management team to help improve trading practices, sharpen up reporting and iron out troubleshooting. I'll also be collaborating with the partnerships team to help understand new tech and onboard them.
In addition, I'll be working with the commercial team to help shape the Picnic story and teaming up with engineering to make sure we get the most out of creatives.
What excites you most about the industry?
The thing that excites me most is the constant change. With so much new tech and solutions there's always a new challenge that can be turned into an opportunity. I'm also quite competitive, so whenever a problem arises I get a real drive to apply myself and find a way to solve the riddle.
What are your passions outside of work?
- Music - in particular 80s new wave, 70s yacht Rock and Hip Hop.
- Sports - namely Australian Rules Football (Swans), Rugby League (Dragons), Cricket and Tennis.
- I love Snorkelling and Scuba diving (which is why I moved to the UK😂)
- I also have a very cool passion for classic sci fi novels.
Karaoke is a big part of our culture at Picnic, which song are you queuing first?
Either Madonna's "Like A Prayer" or "You Spin Me Round" by Dead Or Alive.
Finally, tell us a fun fact about you.
Being quite the go-getter, I started working at the age of 8 months, appearing in a number of commercials (one where I co-starred with David Wenham [remember Faramir from LOTR?]) and the Christmas special of an Australian soap opera.
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!