What it’s like working in Digital Engineering

Gemma Cameron, our Principal Software Engineer speaks about what it’s like to work in Co-op Digital and Digital Engineering.

(Transcript) Gemma: I love the variety of projects that we have going on and all the people that are working on them. So we’ve got not just amazing engineers, we’ve also have got some really great product owners, delivery managers, really amazing BAs and the designers are just incredible and we’ve got all the user experience team.

We’ve got some great people working on really innovative cool projects and, you know, what comes out of it is actually doing something good.

I’m supported in all the community stuff that I do outside of work. So I get to you know, Co-op are helping out with Hack Manchester so we support and sponsor Hack Manchester, I also get to run events here, we are sponsoring the Liverpool Girl Geeks Academy, so it’s great getting girls who are like 12-14 to get to some experience programming.

We sponsor events, we attend events, so we were at the Manchester Digital Skills Festival not so long ago and that’s great meeting some of the new graduates and people are looking for work and getting to tell them about the story of what we do here, that we’re bringing brilliant people in who are really good at collaboration, who really care about software quality and you know we’re doing all the good things like test-driven development.

We’re building these great teams but we don’t expect everybody to know all the tools that we’re using or the languages that we’re using. So we have got some people who showing all these great people and behavioural qualities, but they’re not so good on Java and we’re giving them time and space and we’re coming up with a syllabus to give them that training.

The same with test-driven development and looking at all that quality. We have community of practice and we get together as a group of engineers and work out what our, sort of, level of quality should be. I also want to try and see if I can get involved in some of the projects from inception so actually working together with people and talking to them about what their needs are, going to have discovery phase and creating like little alphas that would be awesome because I’ve worked in a start ups before and I enjoyed doing that experience and it would be nice to do it for a more worthwhile cause.

Gemma Cameron
Principal Software Engineer

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Liverpool Geek Girl Academy awards

We’ve been sponsoring the Liverpool Geek Girl Academy. The Academy was created to inspire girls who may not have considered a career in technology before to experience what that might be like.

Picture from one of the Liverpool Geek Girl Academy sessions
Image courtesy of Liverpool Geek Girls

Last week they celebrated the end of the programme and showcased what the 15 girls had achieved.

A picture of all the attendees of Liverpool Geek Girl Academy
Image courtesy of Liverpool Geek Girls

Over 8 week 15 girls ages 11-15 coded, bonded and successfully built their own websites using WordPress. 

 Becky Arrowsmith who’s a developer at Co-op also stopped by during the Academy to give the girls a a special master class.

The winner received a one to one with Mike Little one of the founders of WordPress and he also presented the awards. The winner was Amelia Roberts, aged 13 who created a website to celebrate Tim Peake and space exploration.  You can hear from Amelia in the video below.

 

“I have really enjoyed Girl Geeks Academy. It has helped me realise how much I can do and achieve, and that tech isn’t just for the boys anymore!”

Amelia Roberts

It was a pleasure to be at the awards ceremony and see the change in the girls since I first met them on their first day. I saw girls with more confidence and with a new found curiosity in technology. This is so important as studies suggest that only 1% of the tech workforce will be female by 2040 if we don’t try and redress the balance. Providing opportunities like this to show what a career in tech is like will hopefully encourage more girls to take that step.

The Co-op is committed to education and diversity which is why we were delighted to have sponsored this event.

Danielle Haugedal-Wilson
Business Architect

CoopDigital sponsors the first Girl Geek Academy

CoopDigital are sponsoring the first Girl Geek Academy run by Liverpool Geek Girls. It’s an 8 week project based programme for girls between the ages of 11-16 to immerse themselves into the technology sector. The key focus will be building a website with code but will also look at female role models and confidence, something that we’ve recognised are incredibly important skills to have within the sector.

Both Liverpool Girl Geeks and the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) are introducing this as a pilot with the hope for it to be a continuous course. Due to the location of the academy we’re also able to offer extra insight into the tech sector by giving them the opportunity to use 3D printers and robotics as well showcase the great spaces and modern technologies that the industry has to offer.

Picture of girls at Liverpool Geek Girls

Why is this important?

We’re committed to supporting gender diversity in the digital sector, only yesterday we talked about our support for gender diverse panels. One of the ways to tackle the gender imbalance in this sector is to educate girls and young women to show them the possibilities of working in technology.

What will they learn?

Lauren Williams one of the tutors will be facilitating the 8 weeks by teaching the 15 girls how to build their own websites. We want them to learn some basic HTML & Javascript skills as well as build on their self esteem. We want them to speak about their passions, show off their skills. Our own Co-op engineers will join the academy during half-term which is 24 October to 28 October, to do more in depth sessions on code and other skills.

The academy will run from 27 September to 15 November, every Tuesday 6.30 to 8.30pm at FACT in Liverpool. If you want to find out more or apply for a place visit the Liverpool Geek Girl Academy website.

Danielle Haugedal-Wilson  & Chelsea Slater