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REAL ROLE MODEL


Sarah Saunders
Managing Software Engineer
Capgemini
WHAT DO YOU DO?

I work for an IT consultancy called Capgemini. IT consultants are called in to work for companies who require technical expertise that they don't have in-house, to help them with their projects. I co-lead a team of circa 100 consultants, all with a passion for software engineering. It's my job to help keep them engaged and motivated, and to ensure they continue to learn and develop throughout their career. I also work with our clients - I'm currently fulfilling a Java development role.

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU USE MOST IN YOUR JOB?
  • The ability to explain complex concepts
  • The ability to quickly pick up new skills
  • The ability to understand large and complex models
  • The ability to present confidently
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU'VE WORKED ON IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

I worked on a bid for a national rail agency to design a new architecture for their ticket booking system. We had to consider incredibly high volumes, limited budget, migration with no downtime, and all the possible combinations of passenger and seat type and journey leg. During this bid I learned about event sourcing and using Kafka for streaming event data. I got to meet lots of very experienced consultants from across Capgemini and see how the customer/client relationship had been developed.

WHAT'S YOUR EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND?

I studied A levels (Maths, Physics, French), Bsc (Hons) 1st class - Computer Science. I completed the Open University module T104 Robotics and the Meaning of Life. I then joined the graduate training programme of an investment bank. Since then most of my training has been on-the-job, sitting exams such as AWS certified solution architect, Mulesoft certified practitioner and using sites such as Pluralsight, Coursera.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GO INTO DIGITAL & TECH?

My best friend, who was taking an HND in computing instead of taking A levels. Her dad told her that working with computers would be a great way to get a job.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO GIRLS THINKING ABOUT A CAREER IN DIGITAL AND TECH?

All future careers will in some way be a career in digital and tech. Do not be afraid that you are narrowing your horizons by studying technology. Do not be put off if you do not enjoy maths or find maths difficult. There are so many more angles to technology - think of voice interfaces, these will require more language skills and psychology skills than maths. The biggest gap in IT is the gap between developers and the business, people who don't consider themselves "typical" IT people are needed in this space. People who are able to understand business structures and how businesses work first, and then think about how business processes can be improved by IT afterwards. And never be afraid to question what you don't understand - nine times out of ten when you do this you'll discover that nobody else really understands either!


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