04 Oct Girls Who Code
Name: Laura Walsh
Home: Belfast, Ireland
How old were you when you first started to code?
18, in my first year of university.
Why did you become interested in coding?
I was always drawn to more logical and problem-solving subjects in school such as Maths and ICT in School. It was only a natural progression to study Computer Science, hence the coding!
Have you always known that you wanted to be involved in the tech industry?
No, I always wanted to go down an artistic route. I initially applied for Marketing, Graphic Design and Art as well as Computer Science at University. However, after getting experience in these fields, I began to realise that the tech industry requires a good mixture of creative and logical skills. I really enjoy the satisfaction of completing a coding task.
Do you find the male-dominated industry to have any positive or negative effects on your experiences as a female coder?
Personally, I haven’t found it to have any significant effects but there is a noticeably smaller number of girls on my course and most of my lecturers are male. I was supported by my University as my female peers and I were given the opportunity to enrol in a coding course specifically for girls called Code First. This enabled girls to get more experience outside of classes with predominantly female teachers.
Do you have any advice for girls hoping to have a career in STEM?
I find the coolest part of coding in the tech industry is the constant realisations of the impact my work has on everyday life. Even though a lot of the time you are sat behind a computer; the final outcome is real and often has significant impacts on people’s lives, my advice would be to try not to forget that.
One of my favourite facts is that a NASA Shuttle has roughly 4KB of ram and your average computer has 8388608 KB of ram, that’s over 2 million times as much for a computer than a device used to navigate through space! You never know what kind of impact your code will have and where.