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#InspireInclusion: From burnout to tech lead - A journey of discovery and persistence with Lauren Spring

  • Publish Date: Posted about 2 months ago

I interviewed Lauren Spring, Lead Developer at See Tickets, and she shared her thoughts on how we can #InspireInclusion by sharing her career journey into technology.

When we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world.

1.     Can you share a bit about your journey to where you are now?

Absolutely. After feeling burnt out on A-Levels, I decided to step into part-time work. With a longstanding interest in video games and tech, I found myself working in video game shops. However, I was still uncertain about my career path and didn't receive much encouragement towards STEM subjects. Despite only having basic ICT classes, I had a computer lab experience in primary school that sparked my interest.

I initially took on a data entry job, which eventually led to a position in the quality team, thanks to a side project I got involved in. It was a female manager who noticed my potential and encouraged me to advance within the project. Over time, I developed high standards for myself, evolving from data entry to joining the quality team, while always assisting colleagues with tech-related issues.

2.     How did you transition into studying computer science?

I decided to study information technology while continuing to work. During my studies, a programming principal module resonated with me, affirming my passion for the field. This realisation prompted me to change my degree focus to computer science, despite facing imposter syndrome when applying for entry-level roles.

3.     What challenges did you encounter along the way?

Despite my qualifications and skills, I faced barriers to advancement, including an unsupportive female CTO and overbearing male colleagues. It took encouragement from my manager to apply for a team lead position. Dependent on companies, altered my experience and I did encounter some bad interviewing strategies from aggressive male hiring managers. Managing soft skills and navigating workplace dynamics became essential skills for me.

4.     How did you progress from entry-level to tech lead within just six years, despite facing imposter syndrome?

The journey from entry-level to tech lead in six years was a challenging yet rewarding experience. Initially, imposter syndrome made me hesitant to pursue entry-level roles, fearing I didn't meet the qualifications or skills required. However, with encouragement from supportive mentors and a determination to overcome self-doubt, I took the leap.

5.     What steps did you take to advance your career during this time?

I focused on continuously improving my skills and seizing opportunities for growth within my roles. I embraced learning opportunities, whether through formal education or on-the-job experiences. Additionally, I actively sought out mentors who provided guidance and support, helping me navigate the challenges of advancing in the tech industry.

6.     What can be done to promote diversity in the tech industry?

To promote diversity, it's crucial to avoid tokenism and genuinely foster an inclusive environment. Activities on platforms like LinkedIn and community engagement should reflect genuine efforts towards diversity. Additionally, job adverts should be crafted carefully to encourage women to apply, even if they don't meet every criterion listed.

In summary, my journey from burnout to tech lead underscores the importance of perseverance, supportive mentors, and a commitment to fostering diversity in the tech industry.