Our recent attendance of Accenture's Girls In Stem Event inspired us to talk to three of the talented and inspiring women in our Development Team about their experiences working within the field of Technology. We talk to Julie (Senior Artist), Monica (Software Engineer) and Vika (UI/UX Designer) below about their individual career paths.

What appealed to you initially about working in Art/UI/UX/Programming?

Julie: I used to be very into playing a Chinese MMRGB game. I was interested in how the characters and environments were created.

Monica: The first thing that I enjoyed about programming was the creativity you could apply in solving the problem presented to you.

Vika: I've always been creative since a young age. What started out as drawing and colouring evolved into fun character design, fashion design and then graphic design. Over the years through student life and professional life the scope of my focus has specialised in UX design for Apps and Systems.

Monica, Software Engineer

What academic route did you take?

Julie: I did my undergraduate in China, and multimedia was my main subject which involved hardware, software and programming. And then I came over to the UK, did my master degree in Game Art at Hertfordshire University after I was more clear that was the direction I wanted to go for.

Monica: Undergraduate in Computer Science and Master's Degree in Computer Game Engineering.

Vika: Newcastle College (A-levels) > Northumbria University (Multimedia Design) > Work Placement (Multimedia designer) > Graduate roles > Permanent roles (various from: Web designer, UI designer, UX designer and even taught a class of 1st degree students at Sunderland University, "Introduction to Web Design" back in 2009.

Julie, Senior Artist

How did you push yourself to stand out from the crowd and secure a job in the tech industry?

Julie: I just practiced as much as I could. I went to the library with my laptop almost every day, so I could concentrate more on what I was doing without the distraction of being at home. Being up to date with the latest techniques and having a strong, good portfolio is also very important for finding a job.

Monica: Creating a portfolio with my best work and going above the university requirements in the assignments.

Vika: Dedication. I worked hard to build a strong and varied portfolio starting from student life, enhancing and refining it through various professional roles to create a showcase that really stands out, gaining as many skills along the way. It's a never-ending learning process in the tech industry.

Vika, UI/UX Designer

What do you enjoy now about working in tech?

Julie: The industry is constantly evolving. It is very rewarding when you keep learning something new and pushing the boundaries.

Monica: The challenge of keeping up with different technologies and learning not just the syntax of a programming language but the logic behind it.

Vika: Opportunities to work on an exciting range of projects rather than doing the same thing day in day out. It's an evolving sector and I enjoy to be part of an industry that pushes forwards in capability and branches out in different directions. I've met and worked alongside some really smart and interesting people from a variety of backgrounds. I learn something new every day!

What advice would you give young women considering a career in Art/UI/UX/Programming?

Julie: The reward you get is directly proportional to the time you put in. And there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube and on different forums. Eat3d and Gnomon do very good and in-depth tutorials as well. All you need to do is practice. Also, it is important to pick one or two areas that you are interested in - Character/Environment/Texture/Modelling/Lighting/VFX/Animation - and focus on those areas.

Monica: If you enjoy a challenge, can come up with different solutions to it and are enthusiastic and persistent in applying them, then you will fit in perfectly. Don't get discouraged and if your school does not have a good computer science programme, there are plenty free resources online that you can access. Start joining online programming competitions and hackathons, there you will meet people willing to give you a hand.

Vika: Go for it! There are so many different routes and specialities to discover. Find something you enjoy and are good at and pursue it.