Pretty Curious - Claire Mitchell
Claire is a software developer at 27partners, where she develops products for the web. She studied engineering at University and taught herself to code via online courses and Founders & Coders, a free code school in London. She then decided to pursue it as a career.
Developers like Claire make the internet work! Claire's job mostly involves breaking down big problems into smaller, easy to solve issues, and solving them with code. She likes being able to create a product which is actually used by other people.
Alongside her day to day job, Claire is passionate about coding education in a fast paced tech world; she runs regular, free workshops and boot camps especially for women looking to learn how to code. Claire is also Co-Founder of Mode for Me, a crowdfunding site where people can support up and coming fashion designers.
Q&A with Claire
We got to know Claire better with a quick Q&A. Read on for tips, insights and inspiration about the world of coding.
Q: When you chose to study engineering at university, did you have a clear career goal in mind?
A: Yes – I planned to be an electronic engineer when I started my degree, but that idea drastically changed! It's OK to change your mind!
Q: Tell us about your passion for tech and how this has helped shape your career.
A: From a young age I was interested in computers but it wasn’t really something I thought I would do for a living. Since I started coding I’ve become very involved in start-ups, which has really fuelled my passion for the industry. I love putting new products together and have found that working in technology has inspired my creative flair.
Q: Best piece of career advice you've been given?
A: ‘Always to be learning.’ As a developer it’s particularly relevant because everything moves at such a fast pace. If you’re not learning, you’ll be left behind. I use this as a measure for my work – if I’m still learning then I know I have something good!
Q: Have you seen the software development / tech industries change in the last few years?
A: Yes it changes all the time, and quickly! The tech we use is changing constantly, there are always new trends to get involved with, particularly across social. I'm pleased to see the tech industry becoming more about community and less about someone sat alone in their room teaching themselves how to code too!
Q: What would your advice be for girls that feel STEM subjects aren't for them?
A: Give it a try! I'm a very scientific and logical person so knew I would love it but coding is more creative than you might think. Look beyond the language and the syntax; look at the overall picture of what you can achieve with it and you'll see how powerful it is to know how to code.
Give it a try! I'm a very scientific and logical person so knew I would love it but coding is more creative than you might think.
Claire's subject breakdown
Are you studying any of the same subjects? Perhaps there's something here you haven't heard of, or sounds interesting? Talk to your teachers about anything that excites you...
Chemistry (AS Level)
Physics Advanced Extension Award
MEng Engineering Science
Pretty Curious for more?
Roma Agrawal pursued a career in structural engineering which combined her two biggest passions - science and design. She's worked on loads of of exciting projects in the last 11 years, including designing the 'Spire' for Westen Europe's tallest building, the Shard in London.
Claire's an engineering doctorate student currently undertaking a 3-year industrial placement at an EDF Energy research and development centre. Claire is part of the offshore wind team which uses EDF Energy's Teeside Offshore windfarm as a case study.