Bristol, United Kingdom
LinkedIn: Temi Olukoko
YouTube: Temi Olukoko
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Temi and I live in England, U.K. I am a software developer on a technology graduate scheme at BT working within the API Gateway & Microservices team.
I am an advocate for diversity in tech, where I speak at tech events and mentor young adults and kids in order to encourage them to pursue careers in the tech industry.
I am also a tech creative! I create YouTube videos about tech, careers and adulthood and I make beginner-friendly infographics that I share on Instagram about different coding concepts.
How did you decide to get into technology?
My tech journey began in 2018 during my Masters degree in Geophysics. I did not enjoy my degree and knew early on I was in the wrong industry, but I took a computational module in my first semester where I used MATLAB for data visualisation and realised I enjoyed it!
I later did some research into the tech industry and was drawn to the innovation and creation within tech! The sub-sectors within the industry was also something I really liked as I knew I was interested in tech but was not sure exactly which part.
How would you describe your experience in the industry so far?
I have really enjoyed working in the tech industry so far. I think I am fairly lucky because I work at such a big company, so I have had a lot of graduate-related training that I think is essential in your early career journey! I also have two mentors who are both female software engineers, one was assigned to me at work and the other is an external mentor working at a different company entirely. I think this has really helped me with my confidence in the workplace so far.
What does a typical day in your job look like?
I usually start my workday around 9 am and the first thing I usually have to do is attend a daily team stand-up meeting, where myself and the rest of the team talk about current tickets (tasks) we are working on.
After the daily stand-up I will proceed to work on my tickets. Whilst doing the tickets, I usually keep a log of my progress by jotting down what I have completed and what I may need help with. I find this useful as it helps me keep track of my progress and also makes it easier for me to later explain any issues I may have to members of my team.
Throughout the day I may have meetings to attend for projects I am on or KT’s (knowledge transfers). I will usually finish my day around 4:30 pm or 5:00 pm.
Has your expectation of what the tech world is like matched the reality? How?
Not exactly! I thought working as software developer, I would just be writing code all day, but that is not true! I actually update and review designs a lot too, which I enjoy as it allows me to have a better understanding of the micro-service or API gateway that I am working on.
How do you navigate working with men daily (if you do) and how do you make sure to get your voice heard?
I found this a lot harder at the very beginning of my career journey because although I was used to being one of few women in a lot of spaces (because of my two STEM degrees), I found the age barrier very hard to get past.
In terms of getting my voice heard - I find the best way I do this is by trying to speak clearly and with authority. I naturally have quite a loud voice anyway, so I find when I talk, people usually tune into what I am saying.
However, if I feel my voice is not being heard I will repeat my statement.
If you could change one thing about your journey in tech so far, what would it be?
I don’t think I would change anything as I am currently where I want to be. I am also a firm believer that you should never regret what path you have taken because at some point that was what you wanted. Instead, I always try to be present and make the best decisions for myself where possible.
What was the best professional advice you ever received?
“You can’t learn everything at once and don’t try to! Focus your learning and career development towards your interests.”
This is something I heard from my external mentor recently in response to me being overwhelmed with the number of things there are to learn in the tech industry!
What advice do you have for younger ladies aiming to pursue a career in technology?
Find a community that you can relate to in tech early on. For example, this could be women-in-tech groups or black-women-in-tech groups. This provides you with the safe space you need within tech community which is important for your career growth and personal development.
Also try to find a mentor early on. There are a lot of organisations now that actually pair young women with other female professionals within the industry. Some that come to mind are the Finding Ada Network and Coding Black Females. You can also find a mentor in an organic way by approaching people in your network that you admire or work well with.
I would like to send a massive thanks to Temi for taking the time out to answer the questions above. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about your journey into tech and what you do. You painted a very detailed picture on what it is like to work as a software engineer on a typical day and dropped a lot of wonderful gems and advice for people starting out in tech. I am a new fan of yours!
You can follow Temi on her social listed above.
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