Women in Tech @ ASOS: A day in the life of… Nat H (Associate Software Engineer)

If you’re anything like me, I love hearing about people’s career stories — not out of nosiness (OK, maybe a bit!), but more out of curiosity and interest.

This ‘Day in the life of’ series gives you a peek into what a typical day looks like for our women in tech at ASOS (there isn’t one!) and how they started their careers. Hopefully you take something inspirational away from it!

This one’s about Nat H who is an Associate Software Engineer.

My alarm clock goes off…

My natural alarm (the baby inside me) wakes me up at 5am. My hormones are everywhere at the minute. My breakfast is very healthy because of the baby; I have yogurt and fruit.

My commute to work…

I’m using flexi-hours so I get the bus into work and arrive at the office for 8am so I can finish at 4:30pm.

I’m responsible for…

I’m a front-end developer, which means it’s very visual, which I really like. First and foremost, my responsibility is to hit the deadlines on our tickets. Each ticket will have a description of the work you need to do. It might have a User Experience (UX) design that we have to refer back to.

We do anything from small changes to copy on the site, to really big changes like Node. I make sure the code is clean and once it’s ready for review, it gets passed onto our QA team who will then test it.

I got the job…

I used to be a music writer and publisher. One weekend I was obsessed with doing a code school online. I really liked it and thought to myself ‘I’m just gonna bloody do it.’ So I quit my job and did a Web Development Immersive Course for three months. I was lucky enough that the trainer asked me to stay and be a teaching assistant for different classes.

I was introduced to the ASOS graduates scheme, so I went through the interview process — I didn’t think I’d get it because I was surrounded by 18- year-olds!

When the people experience team rang me to tell me I’d got onto the grad scheme, I was well chuffed! I screamed down the phone! A year later, I’ve now been promoted to Associate Software Engineer.

My typical day…

I grab a coffee, check some emails and that’s when I have a stand up with the team where we go through our Kanban board. I talk about what I’m working on and depending on which ticket I’ve got, I’ll be working on that throughout the day.

We do a lot of pair programming, so if someone’s free, you can work on one ticket together. It’s a bit more collaborative. I like working solo, but I really like collaboration too, because two heads are better than one! I can learn different approaches from other people and that really fascinates me.

We do knowledge sharing every Monday morning within my team. At the moment we’ve been transitioning into Node, so a few people are really competent with it. For those of us who haven’t worked on that ticket, we get the chance to go through the code that’s been written and ask questions.

My most memorable moment at ASOS…

When we held an event as part of the Stemettes in the lead-up to International Women’s Day and my team won. We spent the day with girls from schools around Camden to get them passionate about tech. Seeing their faces enjoy the process and winning was priceless.

The best part of my job…

Every day I learn something. I don’t feel like a robot.

Tell us what you get up to in the evenings…

Putting my fat feet up, because they’re the size of loaves of bread (that’s pregnancy!). I look at people’s ankles and think ‘She has nice ankle bones!’.

Writing will always be my main passion. I’ve written some children’s books I’d like to self-publish. The first one is called Albert and His Red Balloon and it’s about confidence.

My one piece of advice for aspiring women in tech…

Be brave in your opinions. Stand up for yourself. Don’t be intimidated because we’re a minority. Know that your opinion and your mind is just as valid as the people around you.

Nat H is an Associate Software Engineer at ASOS. She’s a feminist, who enjoys hip-hop and is Beyoncé obsessed.

Kim Tang is a Cultural Change Advisor at ASOS Tech. Her superpowers include, but are not limited to: making tech a place we all love to work. Kim loves personality tests, Wes Anderson films, food, taking photos of food and holidays that involve lots of food.