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Penny hindle

Computer science student, University of Leeds

 

And - Part-time software developer, X-Lab

I was the only girl out of 1,000 students in the year. From then I knew I wanted to pursue a career in STEM.

What do you do?

Throughout my degree and placement year I have learnt to code in multiple programming languages; C, C++, C#, Java, PHP and more! My job involves learning how to solve problems and turn them into code. 

Why did you choose this field?

I've always had an interest in Maths and computers but I had never heard of Computer Science until I went to a University open day during school. As soon as I found out what it was I knew I wanted to come to study Computer Science at university. I went on to study Computing at sixth form and was the only girl out of 1000 students in the year - from then on I knew I wanted to pursue a career in STEM and help to encourage the next generation of girls to study STEM subjects. 

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

"I wish younger me could see how much my confidence has developed."

Throughout the last year I have got involved teaching web development with CodeFirst:Girls as well as running a workshop at a local college to teach girls how to code in C++. I wish younger me could see how  I can now stand in front of a full classroom and deliver lessons and workshops!

Why do you love working in STEM?

There are no boundaries to what is possible, working in an ever advancing field means I am always learning new things. 

Best advice for the next generation

My advice is to not feel put off if you lack experience or the right qualifications. There are so many opportunities out there to learn how to code and build up other skills. I would advise researching initiatives such as CodeFirst:Girls, attending networking events and conferences and participating in hackathons or other coding opportunities.

Role model 

Alongside my degree I am planning to become a qualified nail technician - a hobby which I have always wanted to take further!