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Katie Worton

Graduate Engineer, Cambridge

Why did you choose a degree in computer science?

I really enjoy problem solving and thinking outside the box. A computer science degree gives you the skill set to solve difficult problems creatively, so it was the perfect choice for me!

What are your key responsibilities?

Writing test code and debugging CPU (central processing unit) designs. Since I am still learning my way around, I’ve learnt not to be afraid to ask for help when I am stuck. I am surrounded by many clever people, so this is a great hands-on way for me to learn.

Would you recommend a career in engineering and technology?

Yes, I would recommend a career in engineering and technology – it is an extremely rewarding career path, with many different areas to learn and explore!

How are you helping to shape the future?

In my job, I test and debug new CPU designs, helping the designers fix problems. This ensures the CPUs that surround us in our day-to-day lives are both reliable and secure.

Outside of work, I take part in volunteering opportunities such as Code First: Girls – a not-for-profit group who teach women programming skills. Here I can give back, teaching and inspiring the next generation of women in tech!

Caitlin Buchan

Software Engineering Manager – IOT at Arm, Glasgow

With a degree in biology with genetics, how did your career pathway lead you to becoming a software engineering manager?

My biology dissertation was lab-based and, halfway through, I realised it wasn’t for me. I then had a few years’ jumping between a variety of jobs (running a B&B, lifeguard, student loans assessor) before deciding to go back to university to move into technology.

This allowed me to get a job as a junior software developer, and from there I worked my way up to software engineering manager.

Why did you decide you wanted to move into technology?

I wanted a career in which I could learn something new every day and I felt that the speed at which technology changes would ensure that I always had a new challenge to take on.

Is it a challenge to be a woman in science, technology, engineering and maths?

At times it can be, mostly because, typically, software development is a male dominated environment, and people subconsciously deal best with other people who are like them. I think the more diverse a workplace, the better the environment is for everyone.

How are you helping to shape the future?

I think the way I’m trying to help shape the future is by creating an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable and confident enough to speak up to share their ideas and opinions.

I believe that there’s no such thing as a stupid question and, in fact, some questions that you may feel silly asking could be the key to a new solution or a different direction.

Nadia Noormohamed

Graduate Software Engineer – Manchester

What do you most enjoy about your role as a software engineer?

I am always solving problems, researching and learning new things. It’s an exciting feeling for me when getting closer to a solution and even more so, when it’s found. 

Usually, problems can be solved in more than one way, allowing me to have the freedom to be creative and have a sense of ownership over the solution. 

How did your computer science degree help with your career path?

I was introduced to many different areas of computer science during my degree, which helped me to figure out my interests.

I opted to study modules that sounded novel to me, like quantum computing. I found that I really enjoyed programming and learning about how computers work at the lower levels of abstraction, which is why I decided to work for Arm.

What advice would you give girls choosing a degree?

Choose a degree based on what interests you. Think about where your strengths lie and the job prospects that come with the degree. 

If you are interested in studying a STEM degree, I fully recommend it. The job prospects are usually very good and they open up doors to many rewarding jobs – definitely look into computer science!

How are you helping to shape the future?

I like to help with events involving younger people to inspire and excite them about technology.

I get the motivation to help with these sessions to make young girls realise technology is something they could be passionate about!

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