What's a returner? Emma S

Mar 23rd, 2020

Although some returners are only just starting out in our tech journeys, the skills we have developed over years of experience in other fields can be valuable too and are often overlooked - which is a mistake.

In our 'What's a Returner' series we're addressing common misconceptions around returner talent and sharing the stories of real life returners who have been through our programme and now work in industry.

We know from conversations with businesses that there is a lack of understanding about just 'who a returner is' and the value they bring to a business. Here Emma S ,a graduate of Tech Returners Cohort working exclusively with the BBC tells her story.

Tell us a bit about your previous experience and why you decided to make a career change into tech.

I had previously tried to complete some online courses myself on how to code, but had never managed to keep myself motivated to continue with them. I’d never had a specific ‘career’ after leaving university (where I studied performing arts) and had done a lot of travelling the world and working in all sorts of different jobs. I wanted to start in a career that would challenge me every day and would keep me learning, I found developing was a great example of that!

Having been through the Your Journey Into Tech programme, what would you say to businesses about returners?

I would say that although some of us are only just starting out in our tech journeys, the skills we have developed over years of experience in other fields can be valuable too and are often overlooked - which is a mistake.

What’s your role now?

I am now a Junior Software Engineer in the Search and Navigation team at the BBC.

How did you find the transition from the course curriculum into production ready software delivery?

In all honesty, I did find it difficult as I don’t think the team I joined fully understood what my level of experience was. Thankfully, the Senior Engineer I was paired with was very helpful and supportive when I needed help, but let me try things out for myself which is how I find I learn best.

What technologies/languages/tech stack are you working with?

NodeJS, AWS, Jenkins, Cucumbers, mainly coding in javascript. There are so many technologies that we use, I’ve been able to get at least a little experience in a lot of bits!

What development processes or practices do you utilise as a team and how are you finding them?

I try to work in a TDD way, but sometimes find this difficult in practice depending on the type of ticket I pick up. We are an Agile team and I find it really great that we are able to change processes to fit in with the way we, as a team, like to work.

Want to learm more about hiring returner talent just like Emma? Get in touch hello@techreturners.com to discuss returners looking for roles right now or supporting future returner journeys