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#STEMStories: Niamh, Mobile Engineer, UK

1. Introduce yourself, who are you what do you do?

I’m Niamh, and I currently work as a Mobile Engineer at Monzo, helping to build the iOS and Android apps.

2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do?

I was never even considering programming as a career until I didn't quite get the grades I wanted to do Physics at Birmingham, and Computer Science was an option! I’ve been really fortunate to learn both Android and iOS development since then, which has really helped bolster my career path. Up until Monzo, I mostly worked at agencies, so building apps for external companies, which was great for getting a range of experiences.

3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings?

Honestly, the flexibility and being able to work remote really makes morning very rarely tough! Aside from that though, being able to have an input on a product that millions of people use every day is really rewarding, and the cross between creative and technical skills is really fun.

4. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a Story?

For me if I’m feeling particularly stressed, I’ll take the dog for a walk to clear my head. Monzo also offer mental health days if it’s all getting a bit much, and I took a whole month off earlier this year to go skiing, which really helped me to reset.

5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this?

I’ve got a few, but a particular one right now is probably Meri Wiilliams, who’s the CTO of Monzo. Her resilience and openness about her disabilities is really inspiring, and also being such a well known figure in the community is a great source of inspiration.

6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time?

Probably to not worry so much. I used to be terrified of any kind of failure, and really that’s the only way you learn and grow. Also to know that I’d eventually crack how to code, even though it might take a bit of time it’ll be worth it in the end.

7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM?

  1. Stick with it, and push yourself. STEM is an area where you are constantly learning, and it means you have a career where you’re never bored.
  2. Get involved in the community - gaining connections outside of your company can really bolster your network, and really helps when you’re looking for jobs.
  3. Don’t worry if you fail at something - everyone has points where they might not excel at a certain area - take it as an opportunity to learn and gain new skills.

8. How do you measure your success?

I measure it in a variety of ways. Obviously at work, I have goals and a manager that helps me reach these goals, and we have a progression framework so I always know where I stand. Outside of work, I’ve been becoming more involved in community events, and being able to share my knowledge and get people started with coding is really rewarding for me.

9. Where can we find out more about your work?

You can find some of my work on GitHub here https://github.com/niamh-power, and community wise I try to share any talks that I’ve done on my website here https://www.niamhpower.co.uk/

I’ve also got a blog here https://medium.com/@niamhpower, and I’m a Google Developer Expert in Firebase https://google-developers.appspot.com/community/experts/directory/profile/profile-niamh_power

10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/niamh__power
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/niamhpower93/