International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender equality. The 2020 IWD campaign is centred around ‘Collective Individualism’. We can all choose to be #EachForEqual – we are responsible for our own actions and all of us can have an impact on larger society. That means we can work together to create a gender equal world!
So, we wanted to join in with IWD 2020 by celebrating the women of WebsiteNI!
Our female web developers and designers, and all the women here, work hard, challenge stereotypes and believe in themselves and their potential. We interviewed our web developer Shannon, and she told us more about her story and how she built her career in the IT industry…
1. What STEM subjects did you study at school?
“My A-Level subjects were all STEM-orientated. I studied Mathematics, Information Technology and Technology and Design. They are all similar but different – I love Maths and was always good at it, in Technology I had a good design flair and I loved building and crafting, and then with IT I knew that it was something I wanted to pursue a career in so I knew it would be one of the best subjects for me to choose”.
2. Why did you pursue a career in web development?
“Initially I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I studied Computer Science at Ulster University. I knew what I didn’t want to do! But with that degree, I noticed that there was a placement at WebsiteNI when it was my time to do a placement year, and that’s where I was first introduced to web development. From there I did my years placement, went back to Uni and then I was offered a graduate position, but I knew before then that it was something I really wanted to get into. So then I took the graduate job when I came back and I’ve been here for a year and a half!”
3. Tell us more about what you do on a day to day basis as a web developer?
“On a daily basis? Well, you have to come in and make a wee cup of tea, check your emails and then go from there! Usually I do set up a plan of action every evening before I start the new day, but if I have emails I always attend to them first. My day usually consists of about 80% coding of a website, but I could also be on the phone talking to clients depending on who I’m dealing with. But usually, it’s about taking Paul’s design and developing it into a website – that’s it in a nutshell!”
4. What do you love about being a web developer?
“The variety that comes with the job! Paul and Orlaith’s designs never really look the same, so once you’re given a new design it’s completely different – you don’t really know what it’s going to star, what functionalities are going to be in it, so most days are never the same!”
5. Who inspires you?
“Well, I’ll have to say my mum and dad. Purely because once I started Uni I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, so they pushed me to vary my options and see what was out there. Once I told them I wanted to be a web developer, there were no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’, it was about doing whatever makes you happy! I’m a good web developer and it’s definitely a great job.”
6. As its International Women’s Day, do you have any advice for women considering a career in the IT industry?
“As it is International Women’s Day, the advice I would give anyone really is to pursue your dreams and go for whatever makes you happy. If it’s something that you know you want to do, definitely follow it.”
7. What do you love about working at WebsiteNI?
“I have to admit WebsiteNI is a great company to work for. Everyone is so friendly; everybody meets you in the morning with a smile! Everyone meets at lunch and has a chat and if you ever need any support it’s there. It’s definitely a great place and I really enjoy working here.”
Have a look at our video for International Women’s Day below!