Chipo Mapondera — Technology Graduate

codebar
codebar
Sep 15, 2020 · 3 min read
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Chipo is a Technology Graduate at The NET-A-PORTER Group. She started attending codebar in 2018 as a student, and after securing her first developer job came back to codebar as a coach in August.

You can find Chipo on the internet at:

GitHub | Website

  1. What did you want to be growing up?

I was really into media as a child. I pored over magazines, made tons of scrapbooks, recorded my favourite music videos or tv shows, and watched them over and over. I even loved adverts, the Charlie girls were a favourite, haha. I was very drawn to popular culture and how it was experienced.

2) When did your interest in tech start?

I had a random phase of being obsessed with hacker culture and watching loads of documentaries about the early days of the big tech companies. In an old interview, Steve Jobs mentioned that everyone should learn to code because it teaches how to think in a particular way, so out of curiosity on this “way of thinking” I decided to give Codecademy a go.

3) How did you make the transition to being a developer?

In my Codecademy days, I was working in marketing at CHANEL. My colleagues found it quite amusing that I had taken up coding as a hobby because everything was focused on in-store or print communications. Cut to 2 years later and I was managing the digital marketing and eCommerce at Ally Capellino. Suddenly my whole job was digital, and the little HTML and CSS knowledge that I had learnt came in handy to breathe life into the content on the site. From there I started regularly attending codebar, organised weekly workshops at the SOAS Coding Club and spent all my free time coding, which led to a developer job. So it happened pretty organically.

4) What was your first development job?

My current job as a Tech Grad at NET-A-PORTER.

5) What is your favourite thing about being a developer?

This is the most challenging job I have had, and I really enjoy that about it. Doing a graduate programme, I have been exposed to a lot of different technologies, including React, Java and Swift. I find it so cool that I am building up this technical toolbox that allows me to create interesting digital media.

6) What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?

I built a full stack React and Java project as part of my second rotation at NET-A-PORTER. I enjoyed it because it combined the React knowledge I gained in my first rotation with the new technologies I was learning, which included Java and mySQL. Through this project, I surprised myself as I hadn’t realised how much I had learnt and could apply. That was cool.

7) How did you get involved with codebar?

codebar has been invaluable to me. It’s an amazing place! I started attending as a student in November 2018, and I have recently started coaching in the West London chapter. We also use the codebar tutorials at the SOAS Coding Club workshops.

8) Why do you keep coming back to codebar?

It’s a great place to get involved in the London tech scene, no matter your level. Also, everyone is so nice there, both students and coaches. I’ve met some great people.

9) What are your plans for the future?

Soon I will need to make the decision whether to pursue React or Swift- it’s proving quite difficult! Outside work, I will continue organising weekly workshops at SOAS Coding Club, and I hope to present at a conference in 2021.

I’m also involved in a startup called The Floor. It’s an awesome platform for creatives, so keep an eye out for what they are doing!

10) What advice would you give to aspiring developers?

The best way to learn is to start building something! It seems daunting but you will figure it out. Trust yourself, and Google!

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