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Tech Files: Becky Baker

Date: 20 Sep

Who do you work for?

I work for Thought Quarter, a consultancy-led software development company.

What do they do?

We’re a company which makes awesome websites, apps and digital products. Have you ever played a game with a VR headset? Or enjoyed playing on a website? Well we’re the people who make those things! Digital products are all around us, and we use them everyday – things like Netflix, Roblox, any web app. They’re all digital technology products and we build that type of thing here.

Job title:

Software Developer

What does that mean?

This means that I get to write really cool software! I get to write the code that makes things work. When you look at a piece of digital technology, everything that you see is powered by code that you as a user can’t see. It’s so much fun to be able to write code and see the effect it has.

How did you get to where you are today? What other jobs have you done? What training did you have to do?

I have been a waitress, a shopkeeper, a zookeeper, a cleaner, and a Junior software developer before. I have a degree in BSc(Hons) Computing and IT and a foundation degree in Digital Art and Technology.

I started off by doing A Levels in college, I took Photography, Media Studies, Film Studies and Philosophy. I’ve always loved art and technology so from college I went on to do a degree at the University of Plymouth in Digital Art and Technology. It was in this degree that I discovered my love for programming and knew that was what I wanted to do in my career. I ended up finishing the first year of this degree, moving back home to Cornwall, and starting a degree with the Open University in BSc(Hons) Computing and IT.

Studying with the Open University meant that I could work while I studied part time, so I had a full time seasonal job at a factory, where I met lots of lovely people including their in-house software development team. I asked to volunteer for the software development department and they took me on as a Junior Software Developer after my volunteering.

I stayed there for 3 amazing years and then left to finish off my degree. I was getting towards the end of my degree by this time and wanted to allow myself more time to spend on it. During this time I worked part time jobs and started volunteering as a zookeeper. Once I had finished my degree I got offered a summer job as a zookeeper which ended turned into a permanent job, so I spent 5 years working there, which I absolutely loved!

I wanted to return to my career in software development though, so after 5 years at the zoo, I came to work for Thought Quarter.

What was your favourite subject at school?

My favourite subject in school was Electronics. I really enjoyed designing a project, creating circuit board diagrams, and then building my project. I found it fascinating how you could put together different components and it would make something work.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I really enjoy working things out and finding solutions to problems. I love it when you see a project come together and you have something you visualised come to life. It makes me really happy that we can build technology that makes a difference, that can really help people and businesses achieve their missions.

What might you do in the future?

I hope to continue developing software with a purpose and looking forward to seeing what new technology comes out along the way. I’d love to progress is my role and be a senior developer some day.

Why do you think Cornwall is special?

I absolutely love Cornwall, I have grown up in Cornwall and can’t imagine myself ever living anywhere else. I love the beaches, the scenery and how quiet it is. I love going for long walks and photographing and watching nature. Cornwall is a very special place to me for all these reasons.

What advice would you give your 8 year old self?

I would tell myself to not worry about things! I have always been a bit of a worrier, but everything always works out in the end. I’d tell myself to live in the moment, enjoy everything, and try not to worry too much about things far in the future. Of course, the future is always a great thing to think about, but I’d tell myself to not worry too much about it.