Bethany Horvath is a self-taught full stack Web Developer working at Sky in Leeds. She reflects on her unconventional route into a technology career and the creative aspects of being a Developer.
I love the creative and collaborative aspects of my job, problem solving and working closely with others, whether that be pair programming, mobbing, or mentoring. I also love that I get the opportunity to line manage more junior Developers, helping them develop and grow in their roles. During my time at Sky, I have worked on various high-profile applications. These include contact options and call deflection, order tracking and the bill.
Why do you support Computing's Women in Tech Excellence Campaign?
It's a brilliant campaign. It can be difficult being a woman in a technical role. Therefore, campaigns that celebrate women's successes, provide them with a platform for recognition and allow them to celebrate alongside other inspirational women in the industry are invaluable.
How did you get into IT industry?
Coming from a non-technical background, becoming a Developer hadn't crossed my mind until I was 22, working in recruitment and going through a difficult period in my life. I was struggling with depression and was questioning whether recruitment was right for me. My older brother was extremely supportive during this period, knowing that I was creative and enjoyed problem solving, he suggested I learn how to code. I trusted his recommendation and bought a Web Developer bootcamp course on Udemy and began to learn in my spare time. My passion grew from this moment, initially I dedicated all my free time to learning and then soon enough, I quit my job and dedicated all my time to it. I really enjoyed the challenge and learning something completely new. After a few months dedicated to learning, I applied to Sky's Software Engineering Graduate Programme and to my surprise, I got the job! Getting into tech was the best decision I've ever made.
What you think is the main reason why the IT Industry is mainly male, especially in technical roles and senior positions?
I believe that due to the tech industry being historically male dominated, an unconscious social bias developed and until recently, I don't believe many young women were encouraged to dream about a career in tech. Personally, I was encouraged to pursue a care giving career and as a result, I didn't consider a career in tech until I was older. In terms of senior positions being populated mainly by males, I believe the career breaks some women take for starting a family have an impact on this.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career?
The biggest lesson I've learnt in my career is that I do belong in this industry. After learning this, I felt more confident in every aspect of my work. I was no longer nervous to ask questions or to bring my authentic self to work every day.
What are your three top tips for women looking to start a career in IT? / What advice would you give to young women aspiring to take on leadership roles?
My top tip is keeping in mind that you do belong in this industry. Knowing this will help you develop confidence in your work and ultimately help you become better at your job. Everyone I've spoken to has experienced imposter syndrome at some point, if you feel comfortable discussing this with your colleagues, I'm sure you'll find the same!
Secondly, never be afraid to ask questions, even the smartest person in the room had to start somewhere.
Finally, share knowledge, help, and support your colleagues. Empower each other to do exceptionally. It's amazing what you can achieve in a supportive environment.