How would you describe your job?
My role as a Junior FileMaker Developer is a mixture between problem solving and connecting clients information. I spend a lot of time planning and processing information from our clients to solve their real world business issues. It’s just like completing a puzzle and it’s my job to match every piece to its specifically designed place. Coming from an educational background more focused around English, philosophy and history, how did you end up in what would traditionally be seen as a technology-heavy career? Like most people my education started down one avenue and my career changed over the years. When faced with problems at work I became increasingly interested in programming solutions to solve them. I decided to take things to the next level, and began to self-study FileMaker. What I enjoyed straight away was how FileMaker allowed me to combine and stretch my creative and problem solving skills, and just how easy it is to learn. The more you learn, the more you can do! You’re very much in control of how much you can grow and build your skill levels, and it’s that sort of flexibility that inspired me into developing full-time.
Which of your skills made a career developing with FileMaker possible?
My communication and networking skills certainly helped a great deal. And just the ability to listen to my peers and clients has allowed me to learn a huge amount in just three months of working at Linear Blue. Creativity and problem solving are really important traits to have when developing with FileMaker too. It’s all well and good if you’re proficient with computers, but you need to understand the business reasons behind why you’re building the solution to keep the bigger picture clear at all times.
You use technology to solve problems in your role. Is this something you saw your peers at school / uni / first jobs doing too?
I grew up around technology, however it didn’t play a leading role throughout my university life. If anything, my peers at school, and early colleagues, actually seemed fairly nervous about using technology for more challenging issues! I believe this was down to how fast technology changes; a lot of times people simply had a hard time remaining current. In complete contrast, I think this instilled a curiosity in me that eventually resulted in me being where I am today.
What is it that you most enjoy about consulting to businesses and using tech to solve their problems?
The part of my job I enjoy the most is the ability to make a difference in helping a client to solve a specific problem and to work more efficiently. The speed of development in relation to the scale of the client’s problem, and how easy it is for me to resolve those issues is great feeling.
Which technologies that you were exposed to growing up were important, and do any still resonate with you today?
I was quite lucky in that I always had the latest technology around during my upbringing. My mother worked with computers, so she always had the latest and greatest machines at the house. My first exposure to real technology was when I got my first PalmPilot; my digital life in my pocket! Having always been a fan of Apple and its products, I have always been a part of the Apple revolution in breaking down perceived norms. It resonated with me the idea of the fight against the big guys and as a female programmer has pushed me even more to break down those barriers.
What type of business challenge would you most like to take on with your FileMaker skills?
Data is moving from the desktop. Everyone used to be office based, now it’s all about being mobile and this has created a whole new set of business challenges within developing. Whether you’re on the road, working from home, or doing business from a coffee shop, your location is now your office; your office is no longer your location. Understanding mobile data consumption is not the same as working from a desktop as it requires a complete redesign and rethink in regards to usability, design and functionality, it’s an exciting time to be a developer!
Finally, do you have any advice for young people wanting to get into the world of business and tech?
My advice would be that technology and business are now one, so try not to think of them as different things. Never be scared of using technology to solve your problems, but instead embrace it and then you’ll start to realise the potential it can bring. Also, because many young people have grown up in the midst of the booming ‘technology age’, companies of all shapes and sizes are now appreciating the insight that the next generation can bring to the world of work. Don’t be daunted as you raise questions that people have yet to, you are unknowingly challenging the status quo and reshaping the norm. Just throw yourself in head first, after all, with the rate that technology is continuing to evolve it’s a future-proof career!