The ASOS Tech Blog
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The ASOS Tech Blog

Day In The Life Of… Laura Tombs (Web Engineer)

My alarm clock goes off…

I haven’t needed to set an alarm since my son was born, he wakes me up early without fail! I squeeze in some cuddles and we have breakfast before I walk him to nursery. As I get ready for work, I typically listen to a podcast or a book summary (I love Blinkist), have a coffee and make my to-do list for the day.

On the days I go to the office, I head to the station early and enjoy some quiet time with my book before heading into London. I always love going in — having moved out of the city a few years ago, I miss the buzz and excitement! As a fashion fan I also love seeing what everyone is wearing, ASOS HQ is full of outfit inspiration!

My job is…

Web Engineer in the Web Team, specifically looking after My Account. I work with my team to maintain and update the codebase, alongside improvements so that our users can get the best possible experience. I also get to work on amazing projects including my role as Community Lead for Women in Tech and a recent piece of work to create a library of re-usable code packages that can be used across the whole site!

My typical day looks like…

After I’ve cleared my emails and checked on any updates in Teams, I’ll review any new Pull Requests, this is a summary of changes one of the team have made to our code when working on a new feature, update or bug fix.

We then have a stand-up meeting where we talk through our Kanban board of work. Everything is broken down into tickets and separated into columns so we can see clearly what needs to be done. It’s always a great time to raise any issues we are having, pick up new things to work on and organising pairing sessions.

In between the first meeting and lunch I put my phone on productive mode, pop my headphones in and code! I tend to be most switched on in the morning so I try to get the most complicated piece of work done first.

At around 12pm I go for lunch, if I’m in the office we have a team lunch somewhere together. At home, I have something I’ve batch cooked at the start of the week and do an online Pilates class (currently on day 19 of a 24 day challenge!).

After lunch it could be more team meetings or planning sessions for my work with Women in Tech. As Community Lead it’s my responsibility for Education out-reach, so we are planning lots of exciting events for later in the year! If I got stuck on anything in the morning, I’ll call one of the team to work through a solution together, if not I’ll carry on with my ticket and push my code up to be reviewed.

Towards the end of the day I catch up on the latest Tech news. I check Hackernoon, Mashable and Medium for articles, then any updated content from engineers I admire. My new find is Tiff In Tech, who makes great tutorials and relatable content about life in tech!

I normally finish at 5.30pm and head to pick my son up. Considering I work from home most of the time, I never fail to get my 10k steps in!

The best part of my job …

Is the breakthrough moment! It’s the best feeling when you realise you’ve solved an issue or created something you are genuinely proud of.

My favourite thing about working in tech is…

It’s super challenging but the community is very supportive! You are learning all the time, which can feel overwhelming, but you are also surrounded by a wealth of experience that you can draw on. Overall, people in tech are happy to help, it’s very much a pay-it-forward mentality, which is how we all learn!

One new thing I have learnt in the last year…

I completed the first part of a course on Docker, which is a tool for building, running and managing containers on servers and the cloud. It means we can deploy our code in a secure and reliable way. I still have lots to learn on this but it was really interesting!

My one piece of advice for aspiring women in Tech…

Don’t assume that you aren’t right for a career in Tech because you don’t fit a certain mould or you haven’t got a Computer Science Degree. I have a Psychology Degree and had a career in Recruitment and HR before I switched to Web Engineering, and I find my previous career actually really helps me in my current role! It’s made me feel confident communicating with lots of different people, means I’m happy to present work and also helps when I sit in on our interviews.

The non-traditional route means there’s increasingly more diversity in the Tech space but we need still more female representation! If you are interested in Tech, willing to learn and happy to ask for help you are half way there, just give it a go!

P.S. It’s also worth noting Ada Lovelace, a female Mathematician, is considered to be the first ever Computer Programmer, over 175 years ago! So, we as women have a legacy to uphold!

Ada LoveLace

In the evenings you can mostly find me…

Spending some family time with my other half and our son before we put him to bed, then crashing out in front of the TV. We take it in turns to cook but with busy lives we often rely on a healthy takeaway! On the nights where we can get a babysitter we go for dinner with friends or head to the cinema, although I’m also just as happy with a bath, my book and an early night!

ASOS are hiring for lots of roles in tech and across the business — find out more here.

Laura is a Web Engineer at ASOS.com. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her son, reading, doing Pilates and dismantling the Patriarchy.

Photography by Dominic Kiaune

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