Alexandra O’Mahony —Software Development Engineer
Alexandra is a Software Development Engineer at Findmypast, she attended her first codebar back in April 2019. Since then she has completed a course with Code First Girls and is a recent graduate of the 16-week Founder and Coders Bootcamp.
You can find Alexandra on the internet at:
1)What did you want to be growing up?
I don’t think I ever settled on one thing! I wanted to be a singer, a professional synchronised swimmer, a civil rights lawyer, an aid worker… I never imagined I’d become a software developer.
2) When did your interest in tech start?
In September 2018 I was moving back to the UK to work in a sales role at Personably, an early-stage tech start-up. The company was small and so it was all-hands-on-deck and I joined in on product meetings. The more meetings we had the more I realised I wanted to be on the other side of the table, with the people building the product.
3) How did you make the transition to being a developer?
Before working at Personably coding had been something so foreign and inaccessible to me, but to help me in my role, I decided to start the CodeFirst: Girls intro evening course to coding. I then started going to codebar, attending workshops with Node Girls and Django Girls and in August 2019 applied to be on Founders and Coders (FAC): a free, four month long coding bootcamp.
4) What was your first development job?
I’ve been fortunate enough to start working (remotely!) at Findmypast as a Junior Software Development Engineer, just this month. I’m learning loads and have a great team who’s been really supportive in my first few weeks.
5) Whilst learning to code what was a fun project or thing that you built?
A Harry Potter sorting hat game with trivia — what Harry Potter theme project isn’t fun!?
6) What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
I worked on a ‘tech for better’ project as part of the FAC bootcamp for the Musician’s Union (MU). In a team, we built a website where someone who has been a victim of sexual harassment or abuse within the music industry can log their experience securely with the MU. It was an interesting project technically, but knowing that it might have a big impact was a really motivating factor too.
7) How did you get involved with codebar?
codebar was first recommended to me about a year ago when I was starting to lose momentum in my learning.
8) Why do you keep coming back to codebar?
Easy: It’s such a great place to learn! When I was losing motivation, going to codebar really helped make me excited to learn again. More recently, I’ve been able to do the same for other people when coming back and coaching and that’s the most exciting part about it!
9) What are your plans for the future?
I’m now just concentrating on learning and becoming the best developer I can be. I really enjoy the communities I’ve become a part of since learning to code and I hope to be able to contribute to those again in the coming months.
10) What advice would you give to aspiring developers?
Work hard, try and find coding communities to help motivate you, I’ve mentioned just a few above! And ask questions, A LOT of questions!