Rebecca Brindley, Experience Manager of Digital Channels at DigiTech, NatWest, is a finalist in Outstanding Transformation at the Women in Technology Excellence Awards.
I was always interested in coding, computers, and design - I was told I couldn't do both Art and Maths - but I did! I started building websites on the family computer. One reason I'm so passionate about Code Clubs and supporting STEM Ambassadors is that you can always learn from anywhere.
I got into tech by chance: I was messing around with computers and found them interesting. I did a degree with a bit of experience design, computer science and engineering. The path has not been straight, and at one point I almost quit computer science as I didn't understand the classes - it felt like everyone was talking a foreign language. But, I kept asking (what I was told was) the stupid questions until things started to click. Then I kept learning, looking to understand how things worked on the internet why and people used what seemed strange behaviours.
I don't believe there is one route in tech, we need all experiences. One thing that helped was my diagnosis as dyslexic - it helped me understand myself so I could understand what the world was showing me (reach out to me if you need any support or advice!).
Having completed my multimedia degree I went back to building websites for a variety of small companies (something I keep an eye on now). I now have a variety of experiences, some more technical - like coding HTML/CSS - and other more design related, like usability testing. The best thing I have done is watching lab tests; you never know how people will use your experience, and that experience will stay with you through everything you deliver.
I've just left NatWest's Web Platform Team, where I was leading customer change on a content management system (Adobe Experience Manager). My new challenge is leading the team embedding digital accessibility across all of NatWest. In doing this I am speaking to many people, across skill levels. Why not reach out see how you can support our journey to create accessible experience by design?
Truthfully I am inspired by everyone. But, this comes from home; my mum instilled the lesson in me that you can achieve anything (although I didn't always believe her). She led our technology classes in her school. She was given computers, programmes, then a network to manage, with no experience in anything considered technology.
I also have a cardboard cutout of David Tennant that I stand in my flat on a mainline railway waving at people - he is now strategically positioned in a window - where I've heard kids get very excited at Dr Who being in my house!