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Empowering Women in Tech

Maria Claydon's Journey with She Codes

Maria Claydon's story is one of resilience, determination, and the power of seizing opportunities, even in the face of adversity. Her journey into the tech industry is a testament to the transformative impact of programs like She Codes, supported by Robert Walters, in empowering women to upskill and thrive in the rapidly evolving world of technology.

Like many aspiring professionals, Maria harboured a passion for coding but faced barriers to traditional education due to financial constraints. 

"I had wanted to study coding for quite a while; however, I wasn't a citizen, so couldn't afford to go to Uni."

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Maria found herself at a crossroads, transitioning from a thriving career in the travel industry. It was during this period of reflection that Maria decided to pursue her passion for coding.

"I used this time that I knew I would never get again to teach myself to code and studied as if it was my full-time job," Maria shares. “I loved it straight away but found without structure it was easy to get lost in the many online courses available and lacked confidence to apply for roles in tech, as I thought I wouldn't be considered without a degree. I found She Codes via a LinkedIn post and it sounded like the most amazing opportunity. I had the best experience at She Codes."

She Codes provided the structure and community support that Maria needed to thrive in her passion for coding. Through the program, she not only gained confidence but also cultivated a portfolio that propelled her into her first role in tech at BHP midway through the program.

Initially joining BHP as a Business Analyst, she soon transitioned to a full-stack Software Developer position within a DevOps team, driven by her aspiration to delve deeper into technical roles. Reflecting on her journey, Maria emphasises the invaluable transferable skills she brought from her prior experience.

“"I found that although I was a Junior Software Developer a lot of my skills were senior level skills, and they were all very transferable. I have experience in leadership and partnership management which helped a lot with working with stakeholders and understanding user requirements as well as general business acumen. I trained and developed others which has transferred to my ability to ask questions and understand I don't need to know everything from day 1, while also helping me to teach and mentor others."”

Embracing the dynamic nature of software development, Maria immersed herself in learning the intricacies of agile methodologies, security protocols, and the collaborative dynamics within a software development team.

For Maria, the most rewarding aspect of her role lies in the daily pursuit of solving complex problems and the collaborative elements of software development.

"Software development for me is about problem-solving rather than just coding. It's actually a really collaborative role which I enjoy. I also feel like I'm always learning." 

As Maria reflects on her journey, her advice for emerging female talent is to "find your why," emphasising the importance of staying grounded in your motivations amidst the challenges of career transition. Maria advocates for consistency in learning and cultivating a habit of daily progress, stating that “it's better to learn a little bit every day than go really hard at the beginning and burn out”.

Furthermore, she underscores the significance of community engagement and networking, citing platforms like She Codes and local tech meetups as invaluable resources for support and learning. According to Maria, “networking was a huge reason that I had multiple job opportunities prior to finishing She Codes.”

In Maria Claydon's journey, we find a narrative of triumph over adversity, fuelled by resilience, continuous learning, and unwavering determination. Her story exemplifies the transformative potential of programs like She Codes to empower women in the tech industry. As Maria's journey illuminates, with the right support and determination, the barriers to entry in tech can be overcome, paving the way for a future where diversity and inclusivity thrive.

Since 2017, Robert Walters Perth have sponsored She Codes to help empower and support women in pursuing careers in tech. Learn more about our partnership here.


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