The Short Version:
I am an awarding winning Leader, Agile Development Lead/Senior Developer, Tech Coach, Mentor, Speaker, and Diversity in Tech advocate. Having recently stepped up as an Agile Development Lead, I manage a team of 12 Android and iOS developers for the recently launched TfL Go app, and a team of 2 developers using iOS and React Native to develop internal apps for staff. I previously specialising in Android app development, Java and open source technologies as a Senior Developer. I also have over 10 plus years previous experience in developing Java EE/web based large scale business critical applications and API services, in the public transport, education and local government sectors, and have worked on some high profile projects such as Job Centre Plus Vacancy Kiosks, TfL TPOMA (Transport Police Online Mapping Application), LondonWorks, TfL Oystercard Mobile services, and most recently TfL Go app. I am also exploring the benefits of cloud computing, and becoming a fan of Microsoft Azure :-).
I am passionate about improving diversity in tech, and especially encouraging more Women and BAME people to consider a career in tech and retaining them, in an industry commonly viewed as very male dominated. I help women in established non tech careers with a desire to make a career change into tech, through coaching, mentoring and training. I also help employers to build relationships with underrepresented communities to attract diverse tech talent.
I am a co-lead of TfL Women Staff Network Group – Women in Tech committee and delivers inspirational talks, events and workshops to raise awareness of tech as a viable career. I am also a member of the TfL RACE SNG (Raising Awareness of Culture and Ethnicity Staff Network Group) Leadership Team, and I focused on raising awareness of lack of diversity in tech and at senior leadership levels, and lead on the RACE SNG Career Development initiative where I get to create opportunities for the community to learn skills needed for the future.
I am the founder of an initiative called “Where’s the BAME in Tech?” (or @BAMEinTech for short), an initiative to highlight successful BAME professionals in tech corporate companies, and provide a safe space for open and honest discussions about BAME experiences in tech.
I am also a core/founding member of UKBlackTech, an initiative set up to encourage and support more people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to consider a career in tech and support them once in the industry. We provide events, seminars, mentoring and networking opportunities.
I have a keen interest in public speaking and deliver keynote talks, and sit on panel discussions at tech conferences, and participate in fireside chats to encourage more Women and BAME people into the tech industry, and share my knowledge. I recently represented TfL at the Tech Talent Charter Regional Event at City Hall sponsored by the Mayor of London, and regularly speak at private tech events and raise awareness of Transport for London’s In-house Development Team and its investment in technology.
I was fortunate enough to be featured in a book called The Voices In The Shadow, a collection of 51 stories highlighting amazing black women in tech, which has been sent to 300 schools across the UK and Ireland, and more to come. I have also contributed to a book called Black and Great: The Essential Workplace Toolkit by Rene Germain, The inspirational career guide for young and ambitious Black British professionals. You can get your copy of the Black and Great book here https://amzn.to/3NZTupG
The Long Version:
I am a highly proficient, customer focused Agile Development Lead/Senior Developer specialising in Mobile app development, Java EE and Web Development gained via 15 years commercial IT experience, including 3 years Mobile development experience, 10 years Java Web Development Experience, Oracle Certified Java Web Component Developer Certification, Sun Certified Java Programmer Certification, and a Business Information Technology degree. I have a wealth of experience of full-life cycle development, and utilising agile methodology (SCRUM). I am self motivated team member, with excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills. I am always looking to enhance my existing skill set, and gain experience of new technologies, in a customer focused environment.
My Career Journey:
After spending three years working at the Nuffield Institute, Public Health Division (1996 – 1999) initially as part of my HND sandwich year during University, and subsequent part-time role while completing my Top-up degree, I felt that I had gained a wide range of experience working on small and medium scale projects. Due to the invaluable experience gained and the successful completion of my degree in 1999, I was able to obtain a place on a two year graduate training programme with EDS based in Sheffield. During the programme I gained experience in many phases of the development life-cycle. This included Requirements Capture, Analysis and Design, Development, and Unit and System Testing. I completed technical training in C, Oracle Databases, Unix and many business skills before graduating from the programme in July 2001. I then moved into an Information Analyst/Engineer role at EDS, using Java EE technologies (Java, JSPs, Servlets).
I passed the Sun Certified Java Programmer exam in June 2004 and I went on to enhance my knowledge of Java web and portal technologies. For this I was able to secure a Java Portal Developer role at the University of Nottingham in the Portal Services team (Jan 2005), using Java, XML, XSLT, JDBC, etc. The student portal (http://my.nottingham.ac.uk) provides personalised access to a range of university critical systems through a central channel. I then progressed on to a Senior Java Developer (Portal) role at University of Manchester (May 2006) where I gained more in-depth experience of developing Student Portal (http://portal.manchester.ac.uk), Portlets and the JSR168 specification.
In June 2007 I started as a Senior Solutions Developer at TfL (Transport for London) where I developed Java GIS Web applications for various business departments within TfL and externally, such as LondonWorks Portal and Public Register (http://public.londonworks.gov.uk) – (Java GIS Web apps and web services) used for managing Street Works activity across London, IAP – Information Access Portal used by TfL Customer Services team to provide the general public with up to date information on incidents affecting the London Bus Route network, and TPOMA – Transport Police Online Mapping Application used to assist crime and intellegence analysts and the Transport Police to identify crime hotspots across London.
I moved to the TfL Technology and Data – Customer Technology team in Jan 2017, as a Senior Developer developing Java API services for the Oyster project delivered using agile practices, and utilising Azure cloud technology. In April 2018 I transitioned to become an Android App Developer on the new in-house Mobile Development Team at TfL, Java, Kotlin, MVVM Architecture, LiveData, Retrofit, Custom Views/Drawing. I have recently stepped up from Android development to now lead the same talented Android and iOS devs that delivers the TfL Go app into the hands of the TfL’s users, and hopefully helping to make planning travel across London that little bit easier.
I passed the Oracle Certified Professional Java EE Web Component Developer exam in November 2010, and I am currently further enhancing my knowledge of java web and mobile, especially around Android SDK, and learning to embrace cloud computing.
I am also a Tech Career Coach & Mentor, Public Speaker and Tech Event Organiser. I am passionate about improving diversity in tech, and especially encouraging more Women and BME people into tech and retaining them, in an industry commonly viewed as very male dominated. I am one of the leads on the TfL Women Staff Network Group – Women in Tech committee and delivers inspirational talks, events and workshops to raise awareness of tech as a viable career. I am also one of the leads on the TfL RACE SNG (Raising Awareness of Culture and Ethnicity Staff Network Group) Leadership Team, and I focusing on raising awareness of the lack of ethnic diversity in tech and at senior leadership level, and I lead on the RACE SNG Career Development initiative where I get to create opportunities for the community to learn skills for the future.
I am also the founder of an initiative called “Where’s the BAME in Tech?” (or @BAMEinTech for short), an initiative to highlight successful BAME professionals in tech corporate companies, and provide a safe space for open and honest discussions about BAME experiences in tech. I also provide coaching and mentoring for women wanting to make a change career and transition into tech roles. I am also a core/founding member of UKBlackTech, an initiative set up to find, encourage and support BME tech professionals, tech entrepreneurs, and young people new to the tech industry.
I have a keen interest in public speaking and deliver keynote talks, sit on panel discussions at tech conferences (such as Tech Inclusion at Google UK, Facebook Tech + Diversity event, Black Women in Tech at Condé Nast International), and participate in fireside chats to share my journey and knowledge, and encourage more Women and BAME people into the tech industry. I also recently represented TfL at the Tech Talent Charter London Regional Event at City Hall sponsored by the Mayor of London, and I regularly speak at private tech events, continuously raising awareness of the lack of diversity in tech, and suggesting workable solutions for improvement.