Non tech girl in a tech world

At the end of last year as I was approaching my final semester of university, I was lucky enough to be invited to a STEM conference hosted by the Hon Julia Gillard (OUR Julia, MY Julia, LOVE HER). I was so inspired by the speakers, and heart felt comments by Jules on the future of work in Australia - I knew at that moment the tech Industry was a mysterious land I felt compelled and driven to explore. But what a world, hey? 


At uni, I studied business, and came in with an admin background, I really had no coding experience or tech skills – the leap felt somewhat intimidating. I had some experience working in support at a Microsoft consultancy five years prior – but lets be real here, in tech terms, that’s eons! Where do we non-techies even start?  
Like most women, and men too, I doubted myself every step of the way from an executive support function in professional services to working in operations for a software development consultancy today.   

Technology has seeped its way into every corner of our very existence – and isn’t she magical.  But trying to navigate the industry from outside felt like I was swimming through mud. This called for backup – not knowing, and feeling overwhelmed on how to start I reached out to a great pal, previous CEO, quasi-mentor and all-round rock star Andy Neumann to help me in my plight to make a giant leap back to tech. 

When Andy showed up to a meeting in the CBD in boardies and a metal T it was like a warm hug. After spending years wearing corporate armour to work, I had forgotten how much I missed the relaxed vibe the IT office culture offered. Several pints, and conversations later, I found myself being interviewed here at Kiandra.   I would like to say the rest is history but more the future is bright.

No matter what you think of the tech world, once you step inside, she is a whole different bag of Doritos underneath the bonnet. PSA – not everyone who works in a consultancy has a tech background. The breadth of experience and diverse backgrounds in my team never ceases to amaze me. I have no doubt that just like me at some point in their careers, they were wooed tech side by the bright lights and mystique too.  

Since starting, I have been able to work alongside some of the most eclectic and driven people I have ever worked with and whilst doing so, delivered some kick ass solutions for our clients. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all vanilla skies up in the wizards tower on Bourke St – some days can be hard,  projects can take on their own life as things evolve and, at its core, tech is centred around human behaviour – and aren’t we all sorts of wonderful.  

We can do long hours, and we can get passionate in our drive to see things succeed, but all worth it in an environment that puts its people first, where we are supported every step of the way and celebrate each other’s successes at the end of the day.

Working for a progressive company has many benefits – beyond the chips and LCM’s in the break out room.  EEERRRRRYYDDAYYYY is a school day - no two days are the same.  I am challenged and encouraged to continuously look for ways to improve on systems, processes, team culture and personal development in an environment where trying new things even at the risk of failing is accepted and supported and who doesn’t want that!!!! Like this blog, look, I’m actually writing a blog.

I often get accused of waffling on and not getting to the point so I am going to wrap it up now. If you are thinking about a career in IT – stop thinking, do it. If not for the shiny lights for a career that will offer you countless opportunities to develop new skills and work with amazing humans every day. Don’t know where to start – reach out Meredith.Bower@kiandra.com.au