I chose computer science mainly because I really enjoyed subjects like maths, IT and design. The learning that I got from the University of Sheffield was really fantastic as the department was brilliant and it didn't matter that I came in with no coding experience previously as I was able to get up to speed and start learning new stuff. That led me to apply for an internship here at Microsoft and then I finally came back in as a graduate which has been fantastic.
The advice I give people coming into industry is not to forget that learning is continuous. Also you come into industry with almost an outsider's perspective, with a customers perspective: do go into industries and shake it up a little bit - ask those tricky questions, ask why we do things.
My current role at Microsoft is a Technical Evangelist. It’s an interesting name and not many people outside the technology industry will know what it means. I work in a department called Developer Experience so I work with developers and organizations to envision and inspire them to build with some of the latest technologies and solve some of their problems and improve some of their solutions. As part of that, which is very high level, I tend to do things like attend events and speak to a lot of developers and businesses. We also host events as well as producing online content that people can learn from and also do things like hackathons so we are building with people and helping them envision new ideas.
The highlight of my career so far is a tricky question but I think the overall theme is inspiring people to get as excited as I am about new technology. To start learning and building it and that's everything from teaching kids to code with the BBC micro bit and just seeing that amazement when they first write a line of code, to going to events and being able to produce something really well be that in Belgium or at our Headquarters [in Seattle] where I filmed for the day on their science degree program - offering that expertise, that insight, and be able to inspire people to be as excited as I am.
The best thing about being an engineer is...you can be really creative, you can think up new ideas, you can build things that haven't been built before and you can also do it to change people's lives. You can change the way we do things now for the better.