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Full Stack Software Developer
From High School to Supporting Technology and Design for New Product Adoption
A fast track to Software Developer
I have worked at JPMorgan Chase in Glasgow for over three years now. I joined on a four-year technology graduate apprenticeship program, straight out of high school at the age of 16. I had no prior knowledge or experience in software development. I spend four days a week working in a software development role and one day a week attending Strathclyde University, working towards my degree in software development. I didn’t necessarily know what I wanted to do career-wise, but I knew I wanted to do something STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) related, since that was what I really enjoyed. It was ultimately a recruiter from the JPMorgan Chase Glasgow office that encouraged me to apply for the apprenticeship that has gotten me to where I am today.
Adapting to the workplace
I experienced a very steep learning curve, having entered the field straight from high school. That has been the hardest part of my career so far. It took me a significant amount of time to learn and become confident working through development tasks and engaging with other senior developers. Building a strong support network and relationships both in and outside of the team helped immensely.
Implementing new technology-based features for systems
Now, I am a full stack software developer, currently working as part of a team developing specialized systems to support reporting. I am mainly responsible for developing and testing system features for the team, based on discussions with our product owners.
Recognized as a Rising Star
A career highlight so far has been being nominated and winning the JPMorgan Chase Glasgow Technology Centre Rising Star Award, in recognition of my contribution to the team, the firm and my journey in technology to date. Another highlight was having the opportunity to present my work and involvement in innovation and diversity across the Glasgow site and promoting the different alternate junior talent pipelines to leaders in Glasgow and other EMEA regions.
Paying it forward
My favorite thing about working at the Glasgow Technology Centre is the people and culture. There is a huge focus on diversity and inclusion—hiring from all different backgrounds, experiences and programs to attract good talent. I also really like the element of paying it forward. I love to serve as a mentor, volunteer or participate in JPMorgan Chase events to give something back. I have been involved in a few Tech for Social Good events, such as Code for Good and Generation Tech as well as STEM events at schools, colleges and universities across Scotland. (Tech for Social Good programs enable employees to develop technology skills, while creating sustainable tech-based solutions for socially focused organizations and communities.) It is really rewarding to encourage others into technology and become a part of their journey and learning. Knowing that you’ve had an influence in that is great.
Career Advice: Don’t compare yourself to others
Always be open minded and willing to learn and experience as many different things as possible. This will enable you to grow in so many different areas, both technically and professionally.
On a personal note
When I am not spending time studying for university exams, I meet up with family and friends.