Being from a nontraditional background in tech has more benefits than you think!
I have a background in economics and finance and before my transition, I was tailor made for a career in investment banking or consulting. I studied economics and then went on to complete my Master’s in International Finance at a Chinese university gaining an expert level understanding of exchange rates, especially between the West and West Africa.
Being from a non-traditional (non-trad) background before starting my first role in tech I often wondered whether I had wasted my time studying economics and finance for 5 years. Now I know that I haven’t. Studying was great for allowing me to realise what I like and what I love. I liked economics. A lot. But I love technology. In addition, my understanding of the financial system helps me understand what company needs are far quicker as a Software Engineer and helps me to see potential needs before they have arisen!
Life as a Junior Engineer means a lot of learning, but you’ll be well supported!
Starting as a Junior Engineer has been a humbling experience! Working with people who are not only clearly very smart, but also very experienced can be intimidating. I had just completed a 4 month bootcamp, and whilst I had a good foundational understanding of coding standards, how to solve certain issues and writing tests, my knowledge was minuscule in comparison to many of my peers.
My time at COT started with 2 weeks of working through a C# transition course. Following that we (the other two juniors and myself) went into working on our own mini project. This was eye opening and helpful as it helped to put what we’d learnt into real context. Speaking to senior developers and people who have been in the industry, it’s encouraging to know the discomfort I often feel is normal. In software development you learn something new everyday!
What is it like working at Capital on Tap?
Finding a job that you like can be really tough. Either you dislike the role you’re in or you dislike the company you are a part of - I feel very lucky to be part of a company where I love the role and company! Capital on Tap is a company that makes life easier for SMEs and seeing the positive effect of our work is great! We’ve recently expanded to the USA, and seeing the codebase expand to accommodate has been extremely interesting and is a valuable experience that can’t be bought!
The culture in the company is also great. COT hires a wide range of people from different backgrounds and as a Mandarin speaker it’s been great to speak to my Chinese colleagues. There are also lots of opportunities to hang out with people, be it through work football matches, quiz nights or company escape room days out!