I won a Top 20 Women in Software Power List Award

Esther Ogunmefun – Software Engineer

My career highlight was winning a ‘Top 20 Women in Software Power List Award’

I’m Esther, a Software Engineer (Android) at Compare the Market and I started my career as a Makers apprentice in January 2021. Makers apprenticeships offer a three-month coding bootcamp for those who are trying to get into the tech industry – no prior experience needed. Once the bootcamp is complete, each apprentice enters a permanent full-time role as a Junior Software Engineer within the company that they applied for the apprenticeship through.

Over the first year, we completed various exams and created a portfolio showcasing the work we’ve done, followed by a final interview in order to achieve a Level 4 BSC Diploma in Software Development. I am pleased to say, quite coincidentally, that I was able to both get my diploma with distinction and get promoted to a Mid-Level Software Engineer in one fell swoop in May 2022!

Although this was a very happy moment for me, I’d have to say that the highlight of my career (so far) was back in September 2021 when I won a ‘Top 20 Women in Software Power List Award’. In a nutshell, this award is a celebration of women in tech, which showcases women who are working hard to transform the tech industry for the better. With a focus on growth, influence and innovation, women across the tech industry were nominated by friends and colleagues to be recognised for their impact in the coding community, and I was lucky enough to be one of its 20 recipients.

The main reason I was chosen to win this award was down to my contributions surrounding diversity and innovation in the tech industry. Within six months of starting at Compare the Market, I was able to write articles, do various panels, Q&As and presentations as well as create a YouTube channel dedicated to help those who want to kickstart their career in tech.

I was very grateful to be recognised for this in the wider tech community and it gave me the ammunition and drive to continue to do more! I went on to host webinars, write an article about the world of Black women in tech and attend podcasts as a guest to share my experiences whilst continuing to advocate for diversity in the tech industry.

Among other things, this really helped my career development as it put a spotlight on the ways that I was going above and beyond to exhibit the behaviours and values that Compare the Market would want to see in an employee. Coupled with my growing technical knowledge, this led to great mid/end of year reviews and eventually a promotion to a Mid-Level Engineer. It meant a lot to feel valued within my team, the company and the wider tech community, and it solidified what I already knew… Tech was the place for me!

To others seeking to enter the tech industry, to grow in knowledge and confidence or to gain some recognition, I would advise you to find out what it is that you’re most passionate about within tech and aim to become an advocate for it.

For me it was diversity and inclusion as well as top tips on where to start as a beginner in tech. It’s a lot easier to be consistent and progress when you enjoy what you’re doing whilst feeling like you are making an impact. Once you identify your passion, find a medium that works for you to make your voice heard, such as blogging, presenting or even becoming a mentor to those earlier in their career than you. In the words of Tesco, ‘Every little helps!’

Above all, never stop learning! In a dynamic and ever-changing industry like tech, it’s important to continually develop and adapt.


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